US glass giant invests £25m in Alloa bottling site

Alloa bottling plant The Alloa plant processes millions of bottles of whisky every year

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A major US glass company is investing £25m in an Alloa bottle factory.

Owens-Illinois Inc, one of the world's largest glass container manufacturers, is spending £230m upgrading its operations across Europe.

The firm said the investment would safeguard 600 jobs at the Clackmannanshire site and see improved facilities installed.

The cash, which includes a £3.9m grant from Scottish Enterprise, was welcomed by the first minister.

The Alloa bottle manufacturing site has a 260-year history of glassmaking, and millions of bottles of whisky and other drinks are processed there every year.

Fears were raised last year over work moving to other bottling facilities in the UK, but the firm said the new investment would make the near-600 jobs at the plant safe.

Erik Bouts, president of Owens-Illinois Europe, said: "We have upgraded Alloa's design, new product development, glass colour and decoration facilities.

"We would like to thank Scottish Enterprise for its support in strengthening our ability to service the developing needs of the spirits industry in Scotland."

Drinks industry

First Minister Alex Salmond also welcomed the deal.

He said: "Owens-Illinois are illustrating their long-term commitment to Alloa, and to Scotland, which has been cemented by this multi-million pound investment.

"Not only will the new technology installed in the plant greatly assist the Scottish drinks industry, it will also allow the company to produce 100% Scottish products."

Owens-Illinois Inc had revenues of £7bn in 2013 and employs 22,500 people at 77 plants in 21 countries.

Over the next three years, the firm plans to invest heavily in its European operations, which include 8,000 employees in 10 countries.

Europe is a key market for Owens-Illinois, with nearly £2.1bn of sales recorded in 2013 - approximately 40% of the company's global total.

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