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Sunbeam delays opening of factory until next year


A $20 million factory that will make plastic packaging materials will not open this year as planned at Riverside Business Park in Harford County because of internal delays encountered by the Indiana-based company building the plant.

Instead, Sunbeam Plastics Inc. plans to begin construction of the 89,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in August or September, finish it by March and have the plant fully operational by next July 1.

When Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann announced January that Sunbeam would move into the county, she said the plant would be open by the end of this year, possibly by October.

But Larry Drennan, vice president of finance for Sunbeam, said this week that the company had run into a number of delays that had pushed the schedule back. He said the delays had nothing to do with the local government.

Sunbeam is based in Evansville, Ind., and is a subsidiary of Rexam Inc., a Charlotte, N.C., maker of packaging materials. The Harford County plant is expected to employ 65 workers, to be hired between next January and March.

To induce the company to locate its plant in Harford, the state and county offered incentives that included $470,000 to purchase the 9-acre site and up to $150,000 in local property tax credits.

The company's plans for the plant went before the county's Development Advisory Committee this week and appear to be on track. Paul Albright of Frederick Ward Associates Inc., the local engineering firm working for Sunbeam, said there were "no surprises."

Mr. Drennan said that most, if not all, employees for the new plant would be hired locally. He said that their salaries are being determined.

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