Clorox to expand Aberdeen plant, add jobs

May 13, 1998|By Sean Somerville | Sean Somerville,SUN STAFF

Clorox Co. said yesterday that it will spend $25 million for an expansion of its Aberdeen plant that will increase production by 70 percent and add up to 50 jobs.

Jim Berger, the plant manager, said Oakland, Calif.-based Clorox plans to shift production of four product lines from plants in Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta and New Jersey.

Those changes could make the Harford County plant one of the largest producers of household cleaning products worldwide. "What this gives us is critical mass to be able to support capital investment for equipment to make our own packaging," Berger said.

Clorox's 360,000-foot, one-story plant along Perryman Road employs about 125 people who earn an average of $15 an hour, Berger said. Workers at the plant produce Clorox Liquid Bleach.

The expansion is part of a plan to relocate Liquid Clorox 2 from Chicago and New Jersey by early 1999; and Liquid Plumr, Liquid Plumr Pro and Clorox Clean-up from Chicago, Cleveland and Atlanta later that year.

The $25 million will be used for a variety of purposes -- for equipment to make bottles for Liquid Clorox and cleaning products, the development of manufacturing lines to make Liquid Clorox 2 and Liquid Plumr and for refurbishing equipment that will be transported from Chicago.

With 70 percent more production, the plant will add between 40 and 50 workers. After the expansion, the Aberdeen facility will be producing the entire supply of many Clorox product lines for territories east of the Rocky Mountains, the company said. Clorox may ultimately need more space at its Aberdeen facility.

"That's something we'll have to look at as we get things on line," Berger said.

Because of additional work in other Clorox facilities, job losses companywide will be minimal, Berger said. "They would be met by attrition and retirements," he said, adding that there wouldn't be layoffs.

Pub Date: 5/13/98

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