Owens-Illinois (O-I), the world's largest provider of glass packaging, is investing more than €50million in the modernization of its Reims plant (Marne). With all-new high-tech equipment, a new overall layout, and additional technical innovations, the plant will increase flexibility, capabilities and energy-efficiency. The project includes a complete renewal of one of the plant's two furnaces as well as all-new industrial equipment on the attached production lines. The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-2019.
"This is a strategic investment to strengthen our position in the Champagne business," said Francois Pierrot, Country Group Executive, Southwest Europe, for O-I. "We will be able to serve our customers in the premium segment even better with improved flexibility at the plant and within O-I's overall manufacturing network in France."
On top of the financial investment,O-I will hire approximately 30 new employees in Reims in order to further strengthen the capability of the plant. Following extensive training, they will join the more than 200 employees already working in the plant in areas such as production, supply and procurement, and maintenance.
"This €50 million project is a major long-term commitment to the Reims area. It represents one of the biggest investments in the region during the last few years,further bolstering O-I's reputation as a strong player in the region and making the plant an even more attractive employer," said Dallah Mekki, O-I's plant manager in Reims. "In addition, the investment will increase the flexibility and logistics advantages we offer to our Champagne customers."
The upgrade is also a reflection of the ongoing trend towards sustainability and O-I's commitment towards that goal. As an infinitely recyclable product, glass is a core element of the circular economy. And O-I's investment into a new, more energy efficient furnace and machinery will further reduce the Company's environmental footprint.