Cascades Sonoco, a joint venture of Sonoco Products Company and Cascades Inc., will invest approximately $16 million in the expansion of its existing coating technology plant in Birmingham, Alabama.
Installation of the new equipment and expansion of the existing Birmingham facility will begin early this year, with start-up expected in the second quarter of 2018. Once at full capacity, the new water-based coating line will be capable of producing 40,000-50,000 tons of sustainable coated materials annually.
According to company officials, this investment in world-class water-based coating technology will provide coated paper and paperboard substrates using its new FlexShield, FluteSHIELD and SurfSHIELD brand coating technology.
These coatings, recently introduced to the folding carton and corrugated industries, are revolutionary water-based functional and barrier coatings designed to replace the standard LDPE coating used in take-out container folding carton applications, as well as wax replacement technology for the corrugated industry. They offer solutions that are recyclable, repulpable and compostable, officials said.
"This investment represents a significant geographic expansion for water-based products by Cascades Sonoco, especially in the fast-growing Southeastern United States," said Rodger Fuller, Senior Vice-President of Sonoco's Paper & Engineered Carriers, U.S. & Canada, and Display & Packaging. With this exciting addition to its product portfolio, Cascades Sonoco remains dedicated to maintain its market leadership position in protective roll packaging for the paper industry."
"We also wish to acknowledge the support of the Birmingham Business Alliance and all our partners as it influenced our decision to invest in the region," added Luc Langevin, President & COO of Cascades Specialty Products Group. "This strategic investment certainly helps Cascades Sonoco expand its product offerings into high-growth consumer-oriented markets."
"The Jefferson County Commission is pleased that Cascades Sonoco has decided to invest more than $16 million to expand its operations in our community," said Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington. "This long-term commitment in capital and increased employment is a testament to our business climate and workforce."