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Solo Cup Co. Closing New Mexico Plant

Citing economic conditions, product demand and a need to consolidate operations, Solo Cup Co. will close the plant next year, leaving 200 people without a job.

BELEN, N.M. (AP) -- More than 200 people will be without a job when the Solo Cup Co. closes its plant here next year.

Employees were told of the company's decision on Monday and Tuesday. Solo is offering severance packages and some employees will have the chance to transfer to a plant in Dallas.

Company officials said the closure is due to economic conditions, product demand and a need to consolidate operations.

"Some of decrease in demand that we have experienced on certain product lines are specific to things that are manufactured in Belen," company spokeswoman Angie Chaplin said.

She added that fewer machines and people are now required to make Solo products.

Chaplin said the plant, which has been open for nearly 20 years, will shut down by the end of March.

Belen Mayor Ronnie Torres said the closure will be a huge blow to his city.

"It's going to be very sad," Torres said. "They have been here for so many years, and they've employed so many people."

Torres said he's working to lure other big companies to the area, but that doesn't look promising in the current economy. He said now is the worst time because companies are afraid to expand until they see what's going to happen.

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