Glass container manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) has announced an investment of more than €50m to upgrade its Reims plant in Marne, France.

The company will use the investment to equip the plant with high-tech equipment, a new overall layout, and other technical innovations.

It will also upgrade the facility’s one of two furnaces and industrial equipment on the attached production lines.

O-I Southwest Europe country group executive Francois Pierrot said: “This is a strategic investment to strengthen our position in the Champagne business.

“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.”

The investment is expected to create nearly 30 jobs in areas such as production, supply and procurement, as well as maintenance at the Reims facility to further strengthen its capability. This move will increase the existing workforce of more than 200 at the plant.

"The investment will increase the flexibility and logistics advantages we offer to our Champagne customers."

The company is planning to complete the expansion of the plant by mid-2019 and is planning to produce bottles in three colours and in full range from 0.2l to Magnum-size.

O-I Reims Dallah Mekki plant manager said: “This €50m project is a major long-term commitment to the Reims area. It represents one of the biggest investments in the region during the last few years, further bolstering O-I’s reputation as a strong player in the region and making the plant an even more attractive employer.

“The investment will increase the flexibility and logistics advantages we offer to our Champagne customers.”

The Reims facility currently serves more than 1,000 customers in France, including premium wine customers in Burgundy, Alsace, and the Loire Valley.

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