Ardagh Selects Roanoke County, VA For Metal Can Manufacturing Plant

Luxembourg-based Ardagh Group, which provides metal and glass packaging for the food and beverage industries, announced that it has chosen Roanoke County, Virginia as the site for a new metal can manufacturing plant.

Ardagh CEO James Willich in Roanoke County, VA

Ardagh CEO James Willich in Roanoke County, VA (photo –

The plant is being set up to fulfill orders for a contract Ardagh signed earlier this year with ConAgra, which requires Ardagh to add capacity on the east coast.

Ardagh plans to invest $93.5 million and create 96 new jobs. The plant will be operational 24/7 to produce 4.5 million cans per day, which accounts for five percent of the total food can market in the U.S.

The investment the company is making includes $80 million for equipment purchase. They have already spent the rest acquiring the property for the plant. The 525,000-square-foot facility being renovated for use by Ardagh is the former Hanover Direct distribution center that was shuttered last year.

Virginia was competing for this project with six other states. Carnegie, Pennsylvania is Ardagh’s U.S. metal packaging operations base, and the other five states which had locations in contention for the project were North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee and West Virginia.

James Willich, CEO of Ardagh’s metal packaging business in the U.S., said that they looked at many sites for the expansion. He said their decision to locate in Roanoke County was driven by factors including the infrastructure and logistic advantages, cost of living, business tax structure, skilled labor availability, and the proposed plant’s proximity to Ardagh’s major customer.

The project was secured by Roanoke County working together with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) and the Roanoke Regional Partnership.

State level incentives for Ardagh include a $750,000 grant from the Governors Opportunity Fund. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance is providing support and funding for recruitment and training. Ardagh will also be eligible for rail access funds from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

At the local level, Roanoke County is providing a performance-based grant of up to $2,450,000 that is linked to the company fulfilling its investment commitments.

The Ardagh Group has more than 18,000 employees spread across 100 facilities in 25 countries that together produce 26.6 billion containers every year.

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