Norway-based Elopak will build its first U.S. production plant in Little Rock, Arkansas. The plant — which will produce Pure-Pak® cartons (Gable Top packaging) for liquid dairy, juices, plant-based products and liquid eggs — will feature the latest state-of-the-art technology for better and more efficient production.
Elopak’s new production facility represents an investment of approximately $70 million, including land, building, and equipment. The project will create more than 100 jobs in the region. The company worked with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) and the Little Rock Regional Chamber to bring the project to Little Rock.
Elopak’s current operations in North America include a technical facility in Wixom, Michigan, as well as several converting facilities in Canada, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
“This is our first converting plant in the USA and a landmark investment for our company,” said Elopak CEO Thomas Körmendi. “North America is a key building block for our future growth and we are very excited to expand our presence in the region. I would like to thank all parties involved for enabling the next step in our North American growth journey.”
“Little Rock was a strategic and natural choice for us,” explained Lionel Ettedgui, Elopak’s Executive Vice-President North America. “This location will provide us with green energy, solid access to suppliers, great transportation network, by road and by train, and will enable Elopak to better serve our customers in the Americas and accelerate growth in the region. The cooperation with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the Little Rock Regional Chamber was key to our decision and simply inspirational for all of us.”
“Arkansas is proud to be the home of Elopak’s new U.S. production plant, which will accelerate the company’s growth in North America,” said AEDC Executive Director Clint O’Neal. “Attracting foreign direct investment projects is critical for our success in Arkansas, and companies like Elopak are discovering that the Natural State provides a compelling business case with its strong workforce, low costs of doing business, and an industry-focused environment that helps companies succeed.”
“Little Rock’s existing transportation infrastructure and central location make it the ideal place for Elopak to expand its North American footprint with a new production facility that will bring more than 100 jobs to Arkansas’s capital city,” commented Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr.
ExxonMobil selects southwest Arkansas to start its North American lithium production, demonstrating “leadership in energy transition.” Read more…
“When Elopak started their new production search over a year ago, Jack Thomas and our economic development team looked at all possible options in the metro Little Rock region,” said Jay Chesshir, President and CEO of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “The Bluestem Partners speculative industrial building gave us an opportunity to show them why this was the place to construct their first production plant in the U.S. We’re thrilled that Elopak has chosen to build a new 300,000 sq. ft. specialty manufacturing facility and employ highly skilled engineers, printers and operators at the Little Rock Port.”
“We are excited to welcome Elopak to the Port of Little Rock,” added Bobby Brown, Little Rock Port Authority Board Chair. “This international company chose Little Rock because of our positive business environment, the commitment from our community, and the variety of logistical choices that we have to offer. With Elopak’s arrival, we continue to impact the world and are fulfilling the original mission of the Port to create economic opportunities for our community. Elopak is a great company and I know they will do great things in Little Rock.”
Owens Corning Breaks Ground On New Russellville Facility
Meanwhile in Russellville, AR, Owens Corning has broken ground on its new $60 million, 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that is expected to create 50 new jobs over two years.
Announced in February 2023, it is the company’s first facility in Russellville, and the company’s third expansion in two years in Arkansas. Owens Corning has operated in Fort Smith, AR since 1985 and expanded the facility twice since 2021. The Russellville manufacturing facility is expected to be operational by 2025, and will produce Foamular® NGX™ extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation for applications spanning commercial and residential buildings.
“This new plant and today’s groundbreaking ceremony represents Owens Corning’s commitment to our customers’ growth and the Russellville community,” said Rodney Wideman, vice president and general manager of Foam Insulation at Owens Corning. “Expanding Owens Corning’s Foamular® NGX™ insulation production with this new facility will advance our ability to create sustainable solutions in the building materials industry and better serve the growing needs of our customers. We are proud to be a part of the Russellville community and look forward to growing together. Owens Corning appreciates the support provided by Governor Sanders, Mayor Teague, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce throughout the planning process.”