More expansion for Ball’s Rome plant in Georgia

A fourth canmaking line is being added at Ball’s plant at Rome in Georgia, USA.

The line will be dedicated to making slim 7.5oz (220ml) aluminium cans of the type used by Coca-Cola for portion control.

Announced during a meeting earlier this week of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority and reported by local media, the line will be installed within the Rome plant’s buildings, said plant manager Chris Grimley.

Grimley said the plant currently has two lines that manufacture 12oz (355ml) standard aluminium cans and a third line that makes 16oz (473ml) cans. He said Coca-Cola and Pepsi would be the primary customers.

No comment has been made by Ball about the investment.

The Canmaker estimates that current capacity of the plant is about 2.8 billion cans a year, with the new line adding about 600 million to the total. As a rule, a line of this kind would represent an investment of about US$40m.

The Rome site is where Ball is constructing a new facility to make aluminium drinks cups as part of an investment totalling $217m. At the moment, these are being made on a pilot line near Ball’s headquarters at Broomfield in Colorado.

Ball will benefit financially from the additional fourth line at Rome, and the 64 jobs it will create. There will be a $64m bond package from the development authority, with a 12-year tax abatement, tailing off from an initial 100 per cent for the first three years to 25 per cent in the final three years.

Ball will also make an annual payment of $80,000 in lieu of taxes to the development authority during the 12-year period.

The canmaker has an estimated 48 per cent share of the North American beverage can market which in 2019 totalled 97.2bn units. It has 20 plants making can bodies in the US and Canada.