Charleston, W.Va. (WTRF)- Gov. Jim Justice announced today that Gruppo Fanti, a metal packaging manufacturing company headquartered in Bologna, Italy, will open its first U.S.-based plant in Weirton.

The new plant will initially create 40 new full-time jobs and Gruppo Fanti plans to invest $30 million into the Brooke County operation.
“I love when we have firsts in West Virginia, and I’m really proud that Fanti Group has chosen to make West Virginia the home of their first manufacturing plant in America,” Gov. Justice said. “Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts, from all of us in West Virginia. This is so meaningful to our state. We want you to make this your home in the United States and we want to be able to grow with you and help you in every way we possibly can.”

Fanti Group is an Italian industrial group, founded in 1948, specializing in packaging, owned by the Fanti family. The group has an aggregate revenue of 120 million euro, operates several plants in Italy along with several production and commercial entities in Europe, Russia, and Africa that manufacture more than 100 million metal cans every year.

“My father Giorgio Fanti, founder of Fanti Group, visited this area in the United States for the first time in the 70’s to see how U.S. manufacturers worked and to see if it was possible to buy some steel,” said Stefano Fanti, Chairman of Fanti Packaging. “I was a kid at that time, but I still remember when he left home ‘per l’America’ and when he returned to Italy after a long business trip bringing lots of ‘strange’ presents and toys. Now, after 50 years, I am glad to achieve my father’s American dream by starting a production plant in the United States. Our U.S. entity will be established in Weirton, West Virginia, and it will be legally owned by our main company located in Bologna, Italy, that has the name of my father.”

West Virginia was one of three states in consideration for the company’s expansion into the United States.

“Weirton has a long history with manufacturing,” said West Virginia State Senator Ryan Weld. “The loss of Weirton Steel was obviously a huge blow to the area. But since then, Weirton has been adding bricks to the wall of Weirton’s comeback and Weirton’s future: Pietro Fiorentini, Bidell, and now Fanti Group.

“I’d like to think everybody’s leadership for coming together and putting this new brick in place.”

The company is modifying an existing site in Weirton and plans to start production in Q2 of 2022.