Saica to build converting plant in Ohio

Spanish containerboard maker to build corrugating facility in Hamilton, Ohio.

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Saica, a Spain-based producer of recycled content containerboard and other board grades, has announced it will establish its first North American facility in Hamilton, Ohio, near Cincinnati. The 350,000-square-foot facility will corrugate rolls of containerboard (made offsite) and convert the corrugated board into boxes.

Saica, which has more than 10,000 employees in Europe, has considerable market share there in the containerboard and packaging board sector. It has four business areas: Saica Paper, a producer of about 3.5 million tons annually of recycled-content corrugated board; Saica Pack, which operates downstream corrugated packaging plants; Saica Natur, which offers recycling and waste services; and Saica Flex, which produces flexible packaging.

The company plans to invest nearly $72 million to build the new corrugating plant, with construction expected to start in September and take 18 months to finish. Saica Group says it expects to employ more than 60 people at its Ohio plant. New York-based law firm Squire Patton Boggs says it helped advise Saica Group during its investment foray into the United States.

“Saica Group’s know-how and experience in the production of lighter weight containerboard and corrugated packaging will bring high performance packaging and reduced materials use to the U.S. market,” says Ramon Alejandro, chair of Saica Group. “Since the beginning, we have been looking at different locations in the Midwest. The assistance offer from the State of Ohio combined with the appealing proposal from the City of Hamilton motivated our decision.”

Comments Jody Gunderson, director of economic development for the City of Hamilton, “Saica is well known throughout Europe as a company with an environmentally conscious approach to business, something that the City of Hamilton also prides itself on. This company will pay homage to Hamilton’s rich history of paper manufacturing while also diversifying our business community.”

Paper was produced at the former Champion Paper mill site in Hamilton for more than a century before it closed permanently in 2012. The mill, which had several owners during its tenure, often produced coated printing and writing paper for books and maps, sometimes employing more than 3,000 people.