Ball Corp. and Louisville, Kentucky-based Manna Capital Partners have announced an alliance in which Manna will construct and operate a recycled-content aluminum can sheet rolling mill and melt shop in Los Lunas, New Mexico.
Ball, based in Westminster, Colorado, will enter into a long-term supply agreement and also intends to take a minority equity position in the mill, says the maker of aluminum beverage cans and bottles. Manna, which describes itself as a minority-owned business enterprise and investment firm, says the announcement demonstrates both companies’ “commitment to creating a more robust and sustainable domestic supply chain for the growing beverage packaging market.”
Global aluminum can demand is expected to increase significantly by 2030, Ball Corp. says, 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 percent from 107 billion units to approximately 133 billion units in 2021, adds the firm.
While the industry in North America sometimes imports 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,” the firm says.
“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,” says Ulysses L. “Junior” Bridgeman, 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."
Ball Corp. President and CEO Dan Fisher says, “Further increasing recycled content in our products is key to boosting our sustainability and securing domestic supply of our key raw material. This alliance complements the significant manufacturing investments Ball has made across the Southwest United States 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.”