Cutting-edge technology, time-tested material and up to $240 million in new facility investments are headed to Bowling Green thanks to O-I Glass, the world’s largest manufacturer of glass containers.
The company’s new glass bottle manufacturing facility builds on a long tradition of innovation. In 1904, company founder Michael Owens revolutionized the glass industry with a machine that automatically manufactured glass bottles. And when production begins at the new plant in 2024, the Kentucky Transpark facility will be the first of its kind to use a new technology, known as Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset (MAGMA).
MAGMA benefits include increased overall speed and efficiency in the manufacturing process. The Warren County operation will include renewable electricity, gas-oxy fuel and other innovative technology and processes.
“O-I is determined to be the most innovative, sustainable and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions,” says Andres Lopez, CEO of O-I Glass. “The new plant is an important milestone as we continue the pursuit of our expansion plan in the United States and globally, building a bright future for the company and its stakeholders. Glass is more relevant than ever, and we’re proud to support our customers with innovative solutions.”
The plant’s innovative energy needs will be served by Warren RECC. The electric cooperative’s president and CEO, Dewayne McDonald, anticipates continued growth for O-I Glass, which employs about 24,000 people across 70 plants in 19 countries.
“We are excited to welcome O-I Glass as a new Warren RECC member,” McDonald says. “We look forward to working with them as they grow their world-class business right here in Warren County.”
O-I says the Warren County location will significantly increase its production capacity of glass bottles for a variety of consumer beverages, with a focus on the premium spirits market.
The proximity to key customers in bourbon country will reduce logistics and further enhance O-I’s customer service, flexibility and sustainability, company officials say. The first production line is expected to start mid-year 2024, followed by up to two more production lines to serve the growing market and continued development of MAGMA, creating about 140 jobs.