MeadWestvaco Corporation announced the official opening of its state-of-the art pilot plant located in Eastern Henrico County, Virginia. A key component of MWV's Center for Packaging Innovation (CPI), the pilot plant is a 48,000 square foot packaging materials and technologies research and development facility. To help kick off the opening, MWV hosted Virginia State Senator Donald McEachin for a tour of the facility. In 2010 MWV decided to move its Center for Packaging Innovation and the pilot plant, from Raleigh, N.C. to the company's global headquarters in Richmond, Va. MWV has invested more than $13 million in infrastructure and equipment to establish the pilot plant in Eastern Henrico County. Bringing the Center for Packaging Innovation and the pilot plant to Richmond has created 114 new jobs over two years (108 housed in CPI facilities at MWV's corporate headquarters downtown, 6 at the pilot plant); These high-value jobs, paying approximately $13 million in annual wages and employee incentives, supplement another 736 employees also located at corporate headquarters. In total, MWV employs 850 in Greater Richmond with annual wages and benefits of more than $117 million.
The MWV pilot plant consists of 48,000 square feet, 32 foot ceilings, 10 loading bay doors and 5 labs (Materials and Metallurgy Engineering, TAPPI Conditioned Materials Testing, Polymers and Packaging, Paper Science, and Coating). Its capabilities include: wood fiber development, polymer compounding and characterization, metallurgy and corrosion analysis, coatings and materials testing, form/fill/seal machines, die-cutting, plastic and paperboard thermoformers, distribution and supply chain testing, cup forming and converting, equipment prototyping, injection molding, paperboard slitting, winding and calendaring, coating, and multi-layer polymer extrusion and lamination.