USA: Ball constructs new aluminum mill with investment firm

Ball Corporation, one of the leading global producers of aluminum beverage cans, today announced an alliance with Manna Capital Partners, a private investment firm focused on investment and acquisition opportunities across multiple industries in the U.S. and internationally.

According to the agreement, Manna will construct and operate a state-of-the-art aluminum can sheet rolling mill and recycling center in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Ball will enter into a long-term supply agreement and also intends to take a minority equity position in the mill.

Next to Ball, the aluminum can sheet will also be provided to other key customers of the new mill. Further investment in used beverage can (UBC) recycling infrastructure is anticipated in order to supply the rolling mill with enough scrap material. The mill is expected to be operational in 2026 and ramp additional production over a multi-year period.

Global aluminum can demand is expected to increase significantly by 2030, with North America estimated to account for a sizeable part of the growth. Since 2016, industry demand for beverage cans in North America has grown 24% from 107 billion units to approximately 133 billion units in 2021. While the industry in North America has relied on imported aluminum can sheet coils to meet demand, alliances like this one will allow Ball and its key customers to access more domestically produced aluminum can sheet and remove impediments to growth.

"Further increasing recycled content in our products is key to boosting our sustainability and securing domestic supply of our key raw material," said Dan Fisher, President and CEO of Ball Corporation. "This alliance complements the significant manufacturing investments Ball has made across the Southwest U.S. since 2020 to meet growing demand for sustainable beverage packaging, and we look forward to teaming up with Manna and its management team to help create a truly circular economy for aluminum can sheet, bring skilled jobs to the region, and help our customers meet their sustainability commitments."

According to a joint media statement of both companies, “infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is becoming the sustainable beverage packaging material of choice, enabling circularity where materials can be – and actually are – used again and again. In fact, 75 percent of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today.”

 "At Manna, we are always looking for new ways to invest in companies that are doing good for the planet and people, while improving opportunities that support minority owned-business enterprises," said Ulysses L. "Junior" Bridgeman, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Manna Capital Partners. "We look forward to partnering with Ball, a leader in the beverage packaging industry, to improve supply chain efficiencies through domestic production of more sustainable aluminum."

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