Aluminum beverage cans have been around for decades, but now Ball Corp. has revealed plans for a new aluminum “bottle” manufacturing line at its plant in Floyd County.
The new product, called Alumi-Tek bottling, involves a $50 million reinvestment in the Rome facility. It will be financed by a bond package approved by the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority on Monday.
The expansion will mean 40 additional jobs at the plant off Ga. 53 near Shannon. The plant currently has 185 full-time employees, so its workforce will go above the 200-mark within the next three years.
The financing package is divided into two tiers. Some $8 million will be earmarked for construction this year. The remaining $42 million will be used to purchase the technology and manufacturing equipment, which is scheduled to begin in 2017.
The physical expansion of the Ball plant will involve approximately 60,000 square feet.
A seven-year tax break is part of the deal, although Ball will make a payment in lieu of taxes to the development authority. The company will not pay any school or county government taxes on the value of the expansion for the first three years.
In the fourth year they will pay 25 percent; in the fifth and sixth years they’ll pay 50 percent; and in the seventh year they will pay 75 percent.
The company will continue to pay all taxes on the value of the plant based on its current value. The new abatements apply only to the values related to the expansion.
Plant Manager Kevin Kohinke said the company chose to make the investment in Rome because of the proximity of the plant to its major customers. “It’s pretty centrally located for one of our main customers so it will be easy logistically to get them product,” Kohinke said.
The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Cartersville is a major customer. In fact, Metal Container constructed the plant in 1993 as an affiliate of Anheuser-Busch. “But we’re pretty much involved with all the big players,” Kohinke said.
Ball purchased the plant in 2009.
The plant, which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is capable of producing 3,800 cans per minute and over four billion cans annually. “Soft drink, energy, beer, just about whatever you can put in a can, Rome will make it,” Kohinke said.
The new line will produce 16-ounce aluminum bottles.
“We are grateful that you are here in Rome and Floyd County,” said Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Curtis Gardner. “Not only are you very socially responsible, but very environmentally in the extreme.”
Kohinke told members of the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority that the Rome plant was 100-percent landfill free.
Source : northwestgeorgianews.com