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Sonoco Begins Rebuilding Molded Wood Plug Operations

Hartselle, Alabama, USA, 10 May 2011 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sonoco (NYSE: SON) has begun rebuilding its molded wood plug operations, which were lost to fire in November 2010, in Hartselle, Alabama, and expects to be back in production late this summer, according to James Harrell, vice president, North America Converting. Molded wood plugs are used in tubes and cores, primarily for the paper industry.

Sonoco is investing USD 4.6 million in the new manufacturing facility, which will be located in an existing building next to Sonoco's Hartselle nailed wood/plywood reels facility. The facility location also offers a team focused on the manufacture of wood products and an on-site source of wood chips.

"We are in the process of building eight molded-wood plug presses and have designed the manufacturing area to hold 12. This will allow us to expand, depending on the market demand," Harrell said.

The plant, located in the Hartselle-Morgan County Industrial Park, will operate with 25 to 30 employees and have modern controls and fire protection. This includes isolation of hydraulic power units on the outside of the building, fire suppression redundancies, and fire wall separation of the manufacturing area from the warehouse.

Based in Hartsville, South Carolina, and founded in 1899, Sonoco is a USD 4.1 billion global manufacturer of consumer and industrial packaging and provider of packaging services, with more than 300 operations in 34 countries, serving some 85 nations. For more information on the company, visit www.sonoco.com.



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