Project announced in July 2022 will serve North American premium spirits market
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (April 14, 2023) – Today, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, along with state and local officials, joined executives from O-I Glass to break ground on the company’s new glass manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, creating up to 140 full-time jobs for Kentuckians with a multiphase investment of up to $240 million.
“I want to congratulate leaders at O-I Glass as the company moves forward with this incredible project creating up to 140 full-time jobs in Warren County,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “I am proud the commonwealth will be home to this innovative facility that introduces new technology to increase speed and efficiency within the company’s manufacturing process. I look forward to a long and successful partnership between Kentucky and O-I Glass.”
“Kentucky’s manufacturing sector is one of the best in the country because of companies like O-I Glass investing and believing in what the commonwealth and our people have to offer,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “I am thrilled to be here today celebrating this incredible achievement for O-I Glass and the city of Bowling Green.”
The new location will provide the company with critical, localized production capacity of glass packaging for a variety of consumer beverages, with a focus on the premium spirits market. The project will be the first purpose-built facility of its kind to use the new technology known as Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset (MAGMA), to increase speed-to-market 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’s proprietary MAGMA glass-making technology, and the new plant here in Bowling Green built around this technology, will continue our journey to transform the future of glass container production,” said Andres Lopez, CEO of O-I Glass. “This facility will showcase our next-generation capabilities, from a new modular batch system, the MAGMA melter and new forming machines to sustainability advancements and the look and feel of the factory itself. Here, in Bowling Green, in proximity to the Bourbon Trail, this state-of-the-art facility will demonstrate the value of near-location and will be a key hub for future customer collaboration. It will also serve as place where our investors, customers, and other stakeholders can explore and collaborate.”
O-I Glass is a Fortune 500 company that has specialized in the manufacture of glass packaging for nearly 120 years. The company operates globally with approximately 24,000 employees worldwide. O-I’s MAGMA technology reimagines the glassmaking process with a flexible, modular glass production system.
This project adds to Kentucky’s thriving manufacturing sector, which includes more than 5,000 facilities and employs over 250,000 people statewide. Administration-to-date, more than 570 new location and expansion projects from manufacturers are expected to create nearly 29,000 full-time jobs with approximately $22 billion in new investments.
Warren County Judge/Executive Doug Gorman noted the company’s sustainable manufacturing practices and welcomed them to the community.
“I am thrilled that O-I Glass has chosen to invest in our community and bring new jobs to our area,” said Judge Gorman. “Their commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices and reducing their environmental impact is aligned with our values and priorities in Warren County. We look forward to successfully partnering with the company and welcoming them to our community.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott highlighted the area’s strong workforce and business-friendly environment and looks forward to the company’s future success.
“O-I Glass’ investment in our community is a testament to the strength of our workforce and the pro-business environment we have worked hard to cultivate in Bowling Green,” said Mayor Alcott. “We are proud to have O-I Glass as part of our business community and look forward to their continued success in our city.”
Ron Bunch, CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, thanked the partners and organizations who helped bring this project to the community.
“We are excited to welcome O-I Glass to Bowling Green,” said Bunch. “We highly appreciate their decision to choose our community for this exceptional project and extend our immense gratitude to our numerous partners, including Atmos Energy, TVA, Warren County Water District, Warren RECC and our Presidents Club investors, for enabling us to succeed in such endeavors.”
O-I Glass’ investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of 44,800 full-time jobs and 846 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $25.8 billion in announced investments.
The Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.
Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy-day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
The Governor also recently announced that Kentucky set the lowest annual unemployment rate in state history for 2022 at 3.9%. This is the lowest rate seen since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting state unemployment rates in 1976.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, KEDFA in July 2022 preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual job and wage targets.
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.
For more information on O-I Glass, visit O-I.com.