Amcor talks $20 million expansion in Orlando

January 30, 2013

Amcor Rigid Plastics recently relocated from an existing 168,000 sq-ft plant near the Florida Turnpike to a new, leased 500,000 sq-ft facility within the Airport Industrial Park of Orlando, FL.

This $20 million expansion is for the production of hot- and cold-fill PET bottles for beverages such as sports drinks and orange juice, along with HDPE pharmaceutical containers. The new expanded facility will eliminate the need for three offsite warehousing sites.

Shelley Steele, Amcor communications director, told PlasticsToday that part of the reason for the timing of the move was that the other facility was "passed its prime." The company has operated as a bottle manufacturer in Orlando since 1979.

"The facility was pretty worn out and recognizing that we wanted to stay in the Orlando area, we made the decision to move into a larger facility," she said. "We're well located there to supply to some of our major customers as we have a large number of juice customers in that area."

In addition, this expansion also allows the company to capitalize on the growth opportunities in pharmaceutical packaging. In 2009, Amcor acquired Alcan Packaging, which included a pharmaceutical packaging division.

"There is a huge opportunity to expand, and this is a good place to do it," Steele said. "It's a gorgeous plant and up-to-date, a perfect place to bring in business."

Amcor has already started to produce hot fill PET bottles and cold fill PET carafes for citrus beverages, and has also started production of HDPE and LDPE containers. Amcor will injection mold a majority of its preforms in house at Orlando, which the company says will eliminating the previous cost associated with shipping in preforms. The company will have more than 20 lines going, which includes injection molding and stretch blowmolding.

In terms of future expansion, Amcor also has room to increase manufacturing capabilities. The current expansion is expected to result in an increase of 29 new jobs with employment reaching approximately 150 workers by next year, according to Amcor plant manager Mark Lambrite, in the news release.