Abilene, Texas - As far back as 1920, Coca-Cola has operated a facility in Abilene at various locations, but has done so at its current plant of Highway 351 for over 50 years. The company recently completed a major expansion to its manufacturing facility and celebrated the occasion with an official ribbon cutting. The event was attended by company representatives and local dignitaries to mark the occasion.
The expansion began as a discussion in late 2015 when the company expressed an interest in expanding the Abilene plant to the Development Corporation of Abilene. The facility's long-held reputation as a cost efficient and dynamic operation made it a prime candidate for such an investment.
The expansion included the purchase of "state-of-the art" plastic blow molding equipment at a cost of $27.5 million, allowing the company to make bottles at the plant in addition to its warehouse and manufacturing operation. The plant also invested $4.4 million to add a "can line" to produce an additional drink line.
The combined investment represents approximately $31.9 million in the plant. It is estimated the company generates $180.6 million in direct economic output each year. Spin-off businesses in the community will produce an additional $60.3 million in economic output per year as a result of the local operations, representing a total of $240.9 million in combined output.
In July of 2015, the DCOA approved an incentive of up to 10% of the total project cost. The incentive required the company to maintain its current employment levels for five years as part of the deal. As a result, the business is expected to generate $23.6 million in direct and indirect salaries in addition to an estimated $1.6 million in revenue for local taxing entities in the next ten years.
"This expansion will help the Abilene facility retain the nearly 300 employees who work at the plant and establish it as an integral component within the company, greatly reducing the likelihood of its closure," said DCOA CEO Kent Sharp.