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MAXWELL HOUSE CLOSING BIG PLANT

Maxwell House, the coffee company owned by Phillip Morris Cos. Inc., said Wednesday it plans to close its Hoboken, N.J., plant that is the world's largest coffee processing facility. The plant, which employs 600 people, will be closed in 1992.

The company said its four U.S. coffee plants are running far below capacity and it had to close one of them. Maxwell House cited a 24 percent drop in U.S. coffee consumption in the past 25 years, and said its other plants have more advanced processing equipment, lower costs or better locations.

Maxwell House processes 180 million pounds of coffee a year at the Hoboken site, marked by a massive neon coffee cup sign that is a familiar landmark over the New York harbor.

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