Ardagh Group, a Luxembourg-based global manufacturer of containers for the food and beverage industry, will invest $93.5 million to establish a metal packaging manufacturing operation in a 525,000-square-foot facility in Roanoke County, Virginia
, creating 96 jobs.
The company purchased the 525,000 square foot former Hanover Direct distribution center at 5022 Hollins Road and plans to begin operations by the third quarter of 2014, the Roanoke Regional Partnership said. The $93.5 million investment includes $80 million in equipment. The company is completely renovating the cavernous building to accommodate manufacturing of 4.5 million cans per day, which represents approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. food can market. Ardagh will be hiring skilled machine operators, managers, and support staff.
"Our expansion into Roanoke County was the result of evaluating a variety of qualifications, including, but not limited to the proximity to our major customer, favorable business tax structure, skilled labor and reasonable cost of living for our employees, as well as logistical advantages," said James Willich, CEO, Ardagh Metal Packaging USA Inc. "We're pleased that Roanoke County emerged to be the clear choice." Earlier this year Ardagh signed a long-term supply agreement with a major customer, ConAgra, requiring the company to add capacity in the eastern United States.
“We looked at many sites for our expansion and the decision to establish a Roanoke County facility was driven by factors such as the business tax structure, cost of living, infrastructure, logistic advantages, proximity to our major customer, and the availability of skilled labor,” said Willich.
“We welcome Ardagh to the strong manufacturing sector in the Roanoke Region,” said Beth Doughty, executive director the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “The reasons this location makes sense for Ardagh are the same reasons so many manufacturers prosper here.”
Gov. Bob McDonnell said, "This tremendous project represents the largest single manufacturing investment in Roanoke County history and is a major win for Virginia against six competing states. The new manufacturing plant is Ardagh Group's first operation in the Commonwealth, and will allow the company to easily serve contracts with its expanding global customer base. We thank Ardagh for its significant investment and creation of nearly 100 jobs, and are confident in its future success in Virginia."
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Roanoke County and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $750,000 grant from the Governor's Opportunity Fund to assist Roanoke County with the project. The company qualifies for rail access funding from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide funding and services to support the company's recruitment and training activities.