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U.S. Corrugated plans $80M Dover plant

From Delaware Business Times

DOVER — U.S. Corrugated plans to build an approximately $80 million corrugated cardboard box manufacturing plant near Dover while relocating its longstanding New Jersey operations to the First State.

With aims to break ground in November, the 497,000-square-foot “super plant” will be located on a 40-acre parcel between Camden and Dover, bordered by Route 15 and the POW/MIA Parkway. U.S. Corrugated founder and chairman of the board Dennis Mehiel envisions a facility featuring the latest in industry-leading technology.

It’s estimated that once U.S. Corrugated of Delaware is operational, it should bring around 150 jobs to the Dover area. Mehiel said that U.S. Corrugated will close its 35-year-old, full-line box plant in Newark, N.J., and plans to transfer operations to the new Dover plant by the end of 2021. Preliminary plans show the site at roughly 110 loading docks and potential to expand the building footprint somewhere down the line.

“We’ve had tremendous upgrades since we opened our New Jersey facility, and it’s been upgrading in leaps and bounds in the last 20 to 25 years,” Mehiel told the Delaware Business Times. “There’s substantial opportunity to grow in Dover to meet significant demands we will face in the next two to three years.”

Once the Dover manufacturing plant is fully operational, it would have the capacity to produce approximately 250% more boxes than the Newark facility and bring in $120 million in additional revenue per year, he said.

The project still has to clear the permitting process with state, county and city entities in the near future. Delaware Prosperity Partnership President and CEO Kurt Foreman noted that his office collaborates closely with Delaware and  Dover officials as well as the Kent Economic Partnership to help bring industrial and manufacturing operations to Central Delaware, and he is pleased to continue moving forward to potentially bring another company to the state’s capital. The DPP and its partners have been actively working with U.S. Corrugated of Delaware team since early 2020.

“We are excited to see the progress being made toward a possible facility in Dover, but several key steps remain to complete. DPP looks forward to sharing and celebrating the good news once everything is completed,” Foreman told DBT.

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