Broomfield, Colorado-based Ball Corp., a manufacturer of recyclable aluminum beverage packaging, is planning to significantly increase its production capacity with new cutting-edge facilities in the UK and Russia.
With an increasing consumer call for more sustainable purchasing options and a growing number of new brands and beverage categories choosing cans, demand for aluminum packaging is rapidly expanding around the world. Each facility would produce, from 2023, billions of cans a year across a range of formats and sizes and provide up to 200 skilled jobs in a fast-growing but stable sector.
In the UK, Ball has identified a site at the SEGRO Park Kettering Gateway, an established industrial development in Northamptonshire. Ball has submitted its formal application to North Northamptonshire Council and anticipates breaking ground during 2021, following a period of public consultation.
The planned Kettering plant will represent Ball’s third beverage can manufacturing facility in the UK, adding capacity to its established plants in Milton Keynes and Wakefield. The plant will supply cans for domestic customers in a growing range of categories, which now includes hard seltzers, wines, ready to drink cocktails, together with pure and enhanced water brands.
To serve the fast-growing Russian market, especially in the beer and energy drinks categories, Ball is planning to build a plant in Ulyanovsk in Western Russia. Ball Beverage Packaging Naro-Fominsk has signed a cooperation agreement for its construction with the Ulyanovsk Regional Government, which in June also awarded the development “Highly Significant Investment Project” status.
The Ulynavosk plant will take the total in Russia to four, with established manufacturing facilities in Naro-Fominsk, Moscow Region; Vesvolozhsk, St. Petersburg Region; and Argayash, Chelyabinsk Region.
Aluminum drink cans are the world’s most widely recycled beverage packaging with an 82 percent recycling rate in the UK and 76 percent across Europe.
“With the demand for our infinitely recyclable aluminum packaging growing fast in an expanding number of categories, we are acting now to support our customers in the UK and Russia,” said Carey Causey, president of Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA. “The pandemic and changing consumption patterns mean that consumers are enjoying more of their favorite beverages at home and on-the-go and want to buy products in packages that they know will be recycled and can contribute to a truly circular economy.”
Rudi Leenards, general director of Ball Beverage Packaging Naro-Fominsk, said: “We are firmly committed to the Russian market and are pleased to support so many of our domestic customers enjoying unprecedented demand. With sustainability a key concern for the next generation of consumers, we anticipate infinitely recyclable aluminum packages to play a growing role in the development of a truly circular economy that will be embraced in Russia and beyond.”
Ball Corp. and its subsidiaries employ 21,500 people worldwide and reported 2020 net sales of $11.8 billion.