Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI), is investing more than 50 million euros 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.
The O-I factory in Reims is in the heart of the Champagne vineyards minimizing delivery routes and time to the wineries. It also serves premium wine customers located in the other regions of France such as Burgundy, Alsace and the Loire Valley. The Reims plant has a highly diverse customer base serving more than a thousand customers in France. When the upgrade is complete, the Reims plant will be able to produce bottles in three colours and in the full range from 0.2l to Magnum-size.
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. O-I’s investment into a new, more energy efficient furnace and machinery will further reduce the Company’s environmental footprint.