Crown Holdings Building 3 Plants In China

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Crown Holdings Inc. will build three new beverage can plants in China in order to keep up with increased demand, the packaging products supplier said Thursday.

The plans will be located in Putian (Fujian Province), Foshan (Guangdong Province) and Ziyang (Sichuan Province). The plants will have an initial combined annual production capacity of 2.1 billion aluminum beverage cans.

"The expansion we are announcing today will significantly enhance our position in China with highly efficient modern factories, a broad product range in beverage cans and comprehensive geographic coverage to support this dynamic and growing market," Chairman and CEO John Conway said in a statement.

Commercial production is expected to start in Putian in the fourth quarter of 2011, during the first quarter of 2012 in Ziyang and in the third quarter of 2012 in Foshan.

Shares of Crown Holdings, a consumer goods packaging maker based in Philadelphia, rose 21 cents to $28.58 in midday trading.