Pactiv plans to rebuild, reopen its Macon, Georgia, packaging facility by Q1 2014 following major fire on May 1; Macon-Bibb County in Georgia authorizes up to US$50M in bonds to aid in rebuild

MACON, Georgia , August 5, 2013 () – Three months after a major fire at a south Bibb County packaging plant, the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority on Monday approved a plan to authorize up to $50 million in bonds to help Pactiv Corp. rebuild.

The May 1 fire at Pactiv's Advanced Packaging Solutions plant on Airport Drive apparently started from smoldering egg cartons that were still warm from production when they were stacked, officials said. Most of the 237,000-square-foot building sustained heavy fire damage.

The Industrial Authority agreed Monday to authorize the issuance of taxable industrial development revenue bonds for Pactiv.

The authority is the conduit for the bonds to be issued on behalf of Pactiv, "and there is no liability on behalf of the authority, Bibb County or the city of Macon," said Kevin Brown, the authority's attorney.

"The company expects to begin construction this summer with the intent to be fully operational during the first quarter of 2014," Cliffard Whitby, the authority's chairman, said. "Once construction is completed the plant will employ approximately the same number of people at the plant as it did before the fire, most of whom still work for the company in some capacity."

At the time of the fire, the company had 216 full-time employees and more than 40 part-time or temporary workers.

When it rebuilds, Pactiv is expected to use the same building footprint it had before the fire, Whitby said.

Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv Corp., founded in 1965, is a large manufacturer and distributor of food packaging and food service products. Its product lines include custom and stock form, plastic, aluminum, pressed paperboard and molded-fiber packaging.

Terry Schwindler, manager of business and industry at the Macon Economic Development Commission, said in May that the Macon facility was one of the company's most productive plants.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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(c)2013 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)

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