Economic Development and Manufacturing

Packaging company investing $600M in expansion

September 25, 2019
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Photo via graphicpkg.com

A maker of coated recycled paperboard is planning a $600 million expansion in the region.

Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging International plans to invest the funds for a new machine and subsequent building expansion to produce coated recycled paperboard, used to make such products as cereal boxes, at the existing mill in Kalamazoo, at 1500 N. Pitcher St.

The project will allow retention of the existing 725 jobs at the mill but will not add more, the company said.

The company plans to break ground in the next couple months, and the machine will be running by early 2022, said Susan Appleyard, director of corporate communications for Graphic Packaging.

The machine is expected to have an annual capacity of approximately 500,000 tons, the company said. This will represent 44% of the North American CRB production and will make Michigan the highest CRB manufacturing state in the U.S., according to documents from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The investment will be funded from cash flow and existing credit facilities, with most of the spending occurring in 2020 and 2021, the company said.

The MEDC approved a $21 million brownfield plan for the project that includes $8.6 million in school tax capture and $12.5 million in local tax capture.

The MEDC also approved a state essential services assessment exemption for up to 15 years valued at up to $7.3 million.

Graphic Packaging

Graphic Packaging makes paper-based packaging for a wide variety of products for food, beverage, foodservice and other consumer products companies.

The company has operations in North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia.

Graphic Packaging also has a carton plant in Kalamazoo and two mills in White Pigeon and Battle Creek.

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