O-I Glass Inc., the largest manufacturer of glass containers in the United States, is locating its newest plant in Bowling Green and creating up to 140 jobs.
Formerly known as Owens-Illinois, Ohio-based O-I Glass announced Thursday that it is investing $240 million to build a plant in the Kentucky Transpark that is expected to be operating by mid-2024.
Established in 1929 in Toledo, Ohio, O-I Glass is a Fortune 500 company that has grown to encompass 70 plants across 19 countries. It employs 24,000 people worldwide and achieved net sales of $6.4 billion in 2021.
Building a 160,000-square-foot plant in Bowling Green is part of the company’s strategy to continue that growth.
“O-I is determined to be the most innovative, sustainable and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions,” Andres Lopez, the company’s CEO, said in a news release. “The new plant is an important milestone as we continue the pursuit of our expansion plan in the U.S. and globally, building a bright future for the company and its stakeholders.”
The O-I Glass announcement is the latest in a number of manufacturing operations that have set up shop in the ever-expanding Transpark, capped by April’s announcement that electric-vehicle battery maker Envision AESC plans to build a 2,000-employee, 3 million-square-foot plant in the industrial park.
O-I, though, brings a new element to the local manufacturing mix, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ron Bunch said.
“O-I Glass is a world leader in its field and will bring transformational technology to the sector through their Bowling Green operation,” Bunch said. “We deeply value their selection of our community for this amazing project.”
The company promises an ultra-modern, highly efficient plant.
A news release said the local O-I plant will be the first of its kind to use a new technology known as Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset to increase speed and efficiency in the manufacturing process. The plant will also utilize renewable energy and will be built to accommodate possible future expansions, the news release said.
The Bowling Green O-I plant will produce glass bottles for a variety of consumer beverages, focusing on the market for premium spirits such as wine and rum.
To help lure O-I Glass to the Transpark, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority on Thursday approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program.
The performance-based agreement can provide up to $4 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $240 million and its targets of creating and maintaining 140 full-time jobs paying an average hourly wage of $43 (including benefits) across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved O-I for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Thursday’s announcement continues the momentum built by the chamber’s economic development team.
A news release said the chamber has closed four economic development projects in southcentral Kentucky this year, totaling $2.25 billion in capital investment and creating 2,200 jobs.
– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.