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Pechiney Plastic Packaging Announces $12 Million Expansion.

Pechiney Plastic Packaging, a Chicago-based manufacturer of value-added flexible packaging products, plans to invest in new machinery and create additional production and engineering jobs at its facility on Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville.

Pechiney plans to invest $12 million in new machinery and equipment, which will result in the creation of approximately 36 new jobs.

The facility, which makes flexible packaging products primarily for the healthcare and other specialty markets, currently employs 121 full-time employees at the location formerly known as American National Can.

Ed Knapper, plant manager of the Sweeten Creek Road facility, says, "Our corporate office in Chicago has recognized that this plant consistently performs above average and that we have a great workforce. Pechiney Plastic Packaging is committed to producing high quality products for its customers, and these new machines will allow us to continue to meet our growing demand."

Pechiney Plastic Packaging is a division of Pechiney, a $10 billion a year company headquartered in Paris, France. Pechiney Plastic Packaging, headquartered in Chicago, employs approximately 4,000 people in 28 facilities in North America, Europe, and Australasia. Revenues this year will be more than $1 billion.

David Young, chairman of the Buncombe County Economic Development Commission, said, "This expansion is another compliment to the workforce in Asheville and Buncombe County. Pechiney could have chosen any number of locations for this project, but strong companies invest in facilities they know will be successful."

The Buncombe County EDC brought state and local officials to Pechiney Plastic Packaging to provide information about various training and incentive programs available to new and expanding companies.

Pechiney operates in all facets of aluminum production (bauxite, alumina, primary aluminum). Pechiney's electrolysis technique is recognized as one of the most efficient in the world. Pechiney is also one of Europe's leading aluminum converters for transports markets, industrial applications, construction, household appliances and packaging.

Results of the first half of 2001: Pechiney announced net income of $154 million, compared with $128 million in the first half of 2000. Pechiney was trading for $26.40 on the New York Stock Exhange effective 10:01 a.m., on Thursday, August 16th. Pechiney's stock sysmbol is PY.

The Buncombe County Economic Development Commission is a public/private partnership between the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville and has been involved in creating over 5,000 jobs since 1994.

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