Packaging services provider Sonoco will invest approximately $20m to build a composite can manufacturing plant for the packaging of snacks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The new plant will house three high-speed composite can lines as well as two metal end presses. Sonoco will also install an extrusion laminator for the production of can liners at its flexible packaging plant in Kajang, Selangor Darul Eshan.

Sonoco said that the first can production line will be installed in this year’s third quarter, with commercial operation slated for early 2015. All three can lines, metal end presses and the extrusion laminator will begin operation by the end of 2015.

The company will also operate depalletising equipment at the plant, in addition to the production of all components for the finished composite cans.

Sonoco president and CEO Jack Sanders said that the plant will enable the company to more than triple its current can production capacity in Malaysia.

"Continued growth for packaged snacks in Southeast Asia requires that we build our third composite can plant in Malaysia," Sanders added.

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Sonoco has also revealed plans to invest more than $5m in the development of the Sonoco Innovative Packaging Solutions (IPS) Studio in Hartsville, South Carolina, US. The company will convert its existing two-storey packaging development centre into the IPS Studio, which will be complete by the end of the year.

The IPS Studio will include updated technology for consumer and market research and will also contain multiple small-scale environments for matching the company’s products with consumer use.

Image: Sonoco will invest $20m in new Malaysian composite can plant. Photo: courtesy of Sonoco Products Company.