O-I Glass to Invest $239 Million, Create 140 Jobs with New Production Facility in Bowling Green

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 28, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced continued growth of the commonwealth’s manufacturing sector as O-I Glass Inc. will invest $239 million toward a new glass bottle manufacturing facility in Bowling Green, creating 140 high-wage jobs for Kentucky residents.

“We are continuing to attract new employers that are focused on longevity, sustainability and creating quality jobs for Kentuckians,” Gov. Beshear said. “O-I Glass is doing all that and more. This new facility in Warren County will create great job opportunities for our residents and bring innovative new technology to Kentucky’s manufacturing sector. Thank you to the leaders at O-I Glass for selecting the commonwealth for this significant investment. I look forward to a long, successful partnership between the company and our state.”

The new location will provide the company with a significant increase in production capacity of glass bottles for a variety of consumer beverages with a focus on the premium spirits market. The project will be the first of its kind to use a new technology, known as Modular Advanced Glass Manufacturing Asset (MAGMA), to increase overall speed and efficiency in the manufacturing process. The Warren County operation will include renewable electricity, gas-oxy fuel and other innovative technology and processes. Production is expected to begin in mid-2024.

“O-I is determined to be the most innovative, sustainable and chosen supplier of brand-building packaging solutions,” said Andres Lopez, CEO of O-I Glass. “The new plant is an important milestone as we continue the pursuit of our expansion plan in the United States and globally, building a bright future for the company and its stakeholders. Glass is more relevant than ever, and we’re proud to support our customers with innovative solutions.”

O-I Glass is a Fortune 500 company that has specialized in the manufacture of glass products 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, standardized glass production line.

The new O-I Glass production facility builds on Kentucky’s extensive manufacturing presence, which includes nearly 5,000 facilities that employ approximately 250,000 people across the state.

Warren County Judge/Executive Mike Buchanon noted the many advantages for a new company locating in Bowling Green.

“For a company with a national and international footprint, Warren County offers tremendous advantages. Our workforce is diverse, with over 85 languages spoken here,” Judge Buchanon said. “When combined with our central location and superior transportation accessibility, our community continues to succeed as a top choice for companies like O-I Glass.”

Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott said the company is a great addition for Southcentral Kentucky.

“O-I has a reputation for excellence that has led to jobs for over 24,000 employees in 19 different countries. We are thrilled that they have chosen to grow and invest in Bowling Green,” Mayor Alcott said.

Ron Bunch, president and CEO of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke on the partnerships needed to make the project possible.

“O-I Glass is a world leader in its field and will bring transformational technology to the sector through their Bowling Green operation,” Bunch said. “We deeply value their selection of our community for this amazing project and share our great appreciation to our many partners who make winning projects like this possible: Atmos Energy, TVA, Warren County Water District, Warren RECC, as well as our Presidents Club investors.”

John Bradley, senior vice president of economic development with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), welcomed the company to Kentucky.

“TVA and Warren RECC congratulate O-I Glass on its decision to establish operations and create new job opportunities in Bowling Green,” Bradley said. “TVA is proud to partner with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to support new job creation and investment in the region and look forward to O-I Glass’ business success in the commonwealth.”

Dewayne McDonald, president and CEO of Warren RECC, anticipates continued growth for O-I Glass as the company locates in Warren County.

“We are excited to welcome O-I Glass as a new Warren RECC member,” McDonald said. “We look forward to working with them as they grow their world-class business right here in Warren County.”

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.

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. Kentucky’s average incentivized hourly wage for projects statewide in 2021 was $24 before benefits, a 9.4% increase over the previous year.

In the past year, the Beshear administration 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 of this year, 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.

The economic momentum has carried strongly into 2022, with both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings upgrading Kentucky’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy.

And Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Kentucky has posted new record low unemployment rates for three consecutive months, falling from 3.9% in April to 3.8% in May and 3.7% in June.

In July, the Governor reported the highest annual growth rate in 31 years. And for the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. Also in July, Gov. Beshear reported that the state’s Rainy Day fund is up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, significantly higher than the $129 million balance the fund had when the Governor took office.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $4 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of over $239.3 million and annual targets of:

  • Creation and maintenance of 140 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
  • Paying an average hourly wage of $43 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved the company for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

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. 

A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.

Read about other key updates, actions and information from Gov. Beshear and his administration at governor.ky.govkycovid19.ky.gov and the Governor’s official social media accounts FacebookTwitter and YouTube.