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Work has begun on a 90,000-square-foot expansion of Longview Fibre's warehouse space, which will expand the container and paper-bag plant to more than 500,000 square feet.

The expansion will replace space lost when the company added sophisticated laminating and die-cutting equipment, according to Bob Fuhriman, sales manager. The equipment was a multimillion-dollar investment, he said.The laminating equipment was added a year ago and the die cutter about three months ago, Fuhriman said.

The expansion will also increase the production area for manufacturing merchandise, grocery, shopping and other specialty bags, said Richard H. Wollenberg, senior vice president for production in the Western Container Division. The Spanish Fork plant is Longview Fibre's largest Utah operation. The expansion is the company's fifth since the plant was built in 1988.

Sales at the Spanish Fork plant are about $46 million a year, said Fuhriman. The containers made there go to Utah customers, but the bags are distributed throughout the West, he said.

The company's business since opening has been one of steady growth, Fuhriman said. A sales representative was just hired in Las Vegas to expand the company's sales in that direction, he said.

Other Utah Longview Fibre facilities also are undergoing expansion. Cedar City's year-old container plant is being doubled in size. Work began April 1.

In Logan, the company's distribution facility is undergoing finishing touches on a 14,000-square-foot addition. The facility also has a container-design center.