Ireland-based packaging company Smurfit Kappa has announced plans to invest €54m ($58.38m) in a bag-in-box plant in the Spanish town of Ibi, Alicante.

Smurfit’s new investment will strengthen the sustainability of its plant operations and product portfolio, as well as improve waste management systems and energy consumption.

In addition, the latest investment round will create a further 200 jobs in the region, according to the general manager of the Smurfit Kappa Ibi plant, Pascual Martinez.

Smurfit Kappa Group has been the most active paper, printing and packaging greenfield investor between Q1 2019 and Q3 2023, GlobalData’s FDI Project Database shows. According to GlobalData experts, 86.7% of its total FDI inflows went into the packaging material subsector, which in turn led to the creation of projects in four other subsectors.

The company, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has been mostly active in Western Europe, with 43.3% of its greenfield investments going there between Q1 2019 and Q3 2023.

Despite this, however, the US remains the main greenfield FDI destination for printing and packaging companies, according to a separate report published by GlobalData. Overall, between 2019 and 2022, the paper printing and packaging sector was the 22-largest FDI sector for greenfield investments.

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Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe, commented: “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to the Bag-in-Box division and forms part of our multi-country expansion plan. We have invested €90m in the Ibi plant throughout the last decade, which has significantly enhanced our offering.

“Our customers know that when they choose us, they will get everything they need for their product, invariably resulting in a beautifully designed bag-in-box with a reduced carbon footprint,” he continued.