Ardagh Group to build $93.5 million US plant

Can makers Ardagh Group has announced plans to build a multi-million dollar food can plant in the US.

The global manufacturer of containers for the food and beverage industry will invest US$93.5 million to establish a metal packaging manufacturing operation in a 525,000-square-foot facility in Virginia.

Earlier this year Ardagh signed a long-term supply agreement with its major customer, ConAgra, part of this required the company to add capacity in the eastern US.

Virginia successfully competed against Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee for the project, which will create 96 new jobs.

The plant, which is planned to be opened in Autumn 2014, boasts a daily production capacity of 4.5 million food cans, or about 5% of the total US food can market.

Speaking about announcement governor Bob McDonnell said, “This tremendous project represents the largest single manufacturing investment in Roanoke County history and is a major win for Virginia against six competing states.

“The new manufacturing plant is Ardagh Group’s first operation in the commonwealth, and will allow the company to easily serve contracts with its expanding global customer base.

“We thank Ardagh for its significant investment and creation of nearly 100 jobs, and are confident in its future success in Virginia.”

James Willich, chief executive of Ardagh Metal Packaging USA, added, “Our expansion into Roanoke County was the result of evaluating a variety of qualifications, including, but not limited to, the proximity to our major customer, favourable business tax structure, skilled labour and reasonable cost of living for our employees, as well as logistical advantage.”

Governor McDonnell approved a $750,000 grant from his Opportunity Fund to assist Roanoke County with the project.

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