FRANCE – Owens-Illinois, Inc (O-I) has announced that it will invest about US$60 million to expand its glass production facility in Gironcourt, France as part of the planned investment in Europe.

The company said the investment will enable it grow in premium segments, increase capability and flexibility, as well as improve the company’s environmental footprint.

Expansion of the Gironcourt plant will include building a new furnace, bringing the total number o furnaces at the facility to three.

The investment which is set to be completed by 2020, will focus on the growing premium beer segment which is highly differentiated and uses unique bottle shapes to build strong, premium brand equity.

The firm operates two glass manufacturing facilities, one in Costa Rica and another in Guatemala, and serves many of O-I’s global strategic customers.

Addressing the need for sustainable packaging

The company said the investment in Europe was quite strategic and meets customers’ growing demand for sustainable glass packaging.

This will further improve O-I’s environmental footprint with a focus on climate change, recycling, safety, leadership development and diversity.

“Our customers recognize that glass brings unique brand building capabilities. It delivers what consumers want – premium, healthy and sustainable packaging,” said Andres Lopez, CEO.

“The expansion at Gironcourt is an important part of O-I’s investment strategy to support the growing demand for glass in premium segments.”

O-I acquired 49.7% stake in in Empresas Comegua S.A., a leading manufacturer of glass containers for the Central American and Caribbean markets.

The transaction supports O-I’s growth strategy in America, Canada and Argentina in various segments including food, soft drinks, beer, spirits and pharmaceuticals.

O-I also launched the O-I : EXPRESSIONS, a direct-to-glass digital printing technology offering customization at speed, value and flexible volumes.

It enables brands to create highly personalised and customised glass packaging at flexible volume, industrial speeds, and affordable value.