A.P. Moller-Maersk is building a $170 million Chilean factory to manufacture refrigerated containers to keep pace with Latin America’s booming exports of fresh produce, fish and meat.
Maersk Container Industry said its new plant will help correct an imbalance of reefer containers that disadvantages exporters from western South America as tens of thousands of boxes are shipped empty every year from Asia and elsewhere, creating a shortage of equipment in the region.
“The new factory will produce Maersk’s high-tech reefers in a part of the world where exporters have problems gaining access to reefers,” saidPeter Nymand, CEO of MCI.
The plant, in San Antonio, is due to start operations by the end of 2013 and will create 1,800 jobs. The factory will eventually reach an annual output of 40,000 reefer containers and 30,000 refrigerator machines.
Latin America’s first reefer container plant will supplement the company’s factory in Qingado, China, which is also being expanded, MCI said. MCI’s three plants in China have an annual production of 200,000 20-foot equivalent units dry containers, 41,000 reefer containers and 37,000 reefer machines.
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