FORESTPORT National Grid delivered a $200,000 check to Nirvana Spring Water on Thursday, a boost to assist with the companys recent purchase and installation of a new bottle-filling line, a move that should create approximately 20 new jobs at the plant by spring.
While the new line began operation in August, it was years in the making, starting with a conversation three or four years ago between Nirvana Vice President Mo Rafizadeh and National Grid Community and Customer Management Manager Gerald J. Haenlin.
I took the idea back to economic development, said Mr. Haenlin, though the bulk of the project took place over the last 18 months.
Mr. Rafizadeh said as equipment was purchased and had to be shipped from Europe, the entire process was quite slow.
Once done, though, former warehouse space was converted into a one-stop shop in creating the cases of the companys most popular 16.9-ounce bottles of water.
Tiny pebbles of resin arrive in large crates to be either melted into bottle caps or molded into small thick-walled miniature bottles and later blown with compressed air to become the traditional Nirvana spring water bottle.
The bottles are filled with water, labeled, packed in crates, wrapped for sale and palletized all on the new line.
The company operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Manning the new equipment is expected to add 20 new employees to the workforce of 130 by spring.
The improvements at the facility totaled more than $5 million.
Mr. Rafizadeh said the company should see an increase of approximately 10 million cases each year.