O-I Glass - O-I to Build New $240 Million Production Facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky

As the current bourbon boom goes there are more than 10 million barrels of distilled spirits aging in Kentucky alone not to mention the other 49 states. Once those spirits come of age and are ready for dumping all that whiskey must be bottled up. To accommodate that coming need for bottles, O-I Glass has announced a $240 million investment in Bowling Green, Kentucky to build a new state of the art bottle manufacturing facility.

New Facility to Serve the Premium Spirits Category

O-I Glass - Premium Distilled Spirits Bottles
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In line with strong consumer trends towards healthy, recyclable, and sustainable food and beverage packaging O-I Glass is adding capacity to support its customers with brand-building premium glass containers. The $240 million will happen in multiple expansion waves over time.

The new plant will be the first facility purposely built for O-I’s MAGMA (Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset) technology that is set to redefine the glass production process for the future. MAGMA is expected to further enhance O-I’s capabilities to support multiple product categories and expand in today’s highly differentiated product segments. 

The production facility is also expected to set new standards in sustainable glass manufacturing. Using renewable electricity, gas-oxy fuel, and other innovative solutions, it will significantly advance O-I’s sustainability roadmap and make glass an even more compelling choice for consumers, customers, and the environment.

The proximity to key customers in Kentucky bourbon country will reduce logistics and further enhance O-I’s customer service, flexibility, and sustainability.

Owens-Illinois Glass - CEO Andres Lopez
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Owens-Illinois Glass – CEO Andres Lopez.

“O-I is determined to be the most innovative, sustainable and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions,” said 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 US and globally, building a bright future for the company and its stakeholders. Glass is more relevant than ever, and we are proud to support our customers with innovative solutions.”

“We continue to target new employers for the commonwealth that are focused on longevity, sustainability and creating quality jobs for Kentuckians,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “O-I Glass is a company that meets all of that criteria and more. This new facility in Warren County will create great job opportunities for our residents and bring innovative new technology to Kentucky’s manufacturing sector. Thank you to the leaders at O-I Glass for selecting the commonwealth for this significant investment. I look forward to a long, successful partnership between the company and our state.” 

“O-I has a reputation for excellence that has led to jobs for over 24,000 employees in 19 different countries. We are thrilled that they have chosen to grow and invest in Bowling Green,” said Bowling Green Mayor, Todd Alcott.

Production to Start Mid-2024

The new facility is expected to create approximately 140 new jobs in the region. Start of the first production line is expected mid-year 2024 followed by up to two more production lines to serve the growing market and continued development of MAGMA.

Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon noted the many advantages for a new company locating in Bowling Green.

“For a company with a national and international footprint, Warren County offers tremendous advantages. Our workforce is diverse, with over 85 languages spoken here,” Judge Buchanon said. “When combined with our central location and superior transportation accessibility, our community continues to succeed as a top choice for companies like O-I Glass.”

Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said the company is a great addition for Southcentral Kentucky.

“O-I has a reputation for excellence that has led to jobs for over 24,000 employees in 19 different countries. We are thrilled that they have chosen to grow and invest in Bowling Green,” Mayor Alcott said.

Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the partnerships needed to make the project possible.

“O-I Glass is a world leader in its field and will bring transformational technology to the sector through their Bowling Green operation,” Bunch said. “We deeply value their selection of our community for this amazing project and share our great appreciation to our many partners who make winning projects like this possible: Atmos Energy, TVA, Warren County Water District, Warren RECC, as well as our Presidents Club investors.”

John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), welcomed the company to Kentucky.

“TVA and Warren RECC congratulate O-I Glass on its decision to establish operations and create new job opportunities in Bowling Green,” Bradley said. “TVA is proud to partner with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to support new job creation and investment in the region and look forward to O-I Glass’ business success in the commonwealth.”

Dewayne McDonald, president and CEO of Warren RECC, anticipates continued growth for O-I Glass as the company locates in Warren County.

“We are excited to welcome O-I Glass as a new Warren RECC member,” McDonald said. “We look forward to working with them as they grow their world-class business right here in Warren County.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $4 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of over $239.3 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 140 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $43 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, O-I Glass can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

O-I Glass is a Fortune 500 company that has specialized in the manufacture of glass products for nearly 120 years. O-I Glass employs 24,000 people across 70 plants in 19 countries. Its headquarters is in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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