Ball Corporation has begun construction of its new plant in Kettering, UK.
The new can manufacturing facility at SEGRO Park Kettering Gateway will be completed in January 2023 in response to growing demand for recyclable aluminum cans.
Covering 56,000 square metres, it is expected to be the largest ever built in the UK, with room for future expansion of production. The factory will produce more than a billion fully recyclable cans and create 200 local jobs.
North Northamptonshire Council, which granted planning permission for the site last year, says Ball Corporation’s decision to establish its new site in Kettering will bring significant investment to the area.
Cllr David Brackenbury, Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration, said: “One of our key priorities is to help create the conditions for economic recovery in North Northamptonshire and I am delighted to welcome Ball Corporation to our region .”
He praised the focus on sustainability in the new plant. Ball, whose climate protection plan has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, is building the Kettering facility to BREEAM’s ‘Excellent’ environmental and sustainability standards. Features include a rainwater harvesting system and innovative technology to reduce machine exhaust emissions, technologies that make the Kettering facility the most advanced facility of its kind, using 20% less energy and 70% less water than traditional canning processes.
“This development also brings significant local employment opportunities in the sustainable manufacturing sector, which is a welcome addition to the North Northants economy,” said Cllr Brackenbury. “I can’t wait to see the production lines up and running.”
The growing demand for aluminum cans comes as consumers seek alternatives to single-use plastics. A recent survey shows that nearly 80% of people are taking action to reduce single-use plastic and two-thirds want to do more. Aluminum cans are currently the most recycled beverage packaging in the world, with a recycling rate of 82% in the UK and a European average of 76%.
Manufacturing has long been an important source of employment for Kettering and the surrounding area, with the Ball plant joining a modern local industrial community that includes Mercedes-AMG, Siemens and Weetabix.
Carey Causey, President of Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, said: “As environmental awareness increases, consumers are pushing for more sustainable beverage packaging. This new facility at one of the UK’s most popular manufacturing locations will help us support our customers’ growth by producing fully recyclable cans that can play a part in a true circular economy and support the local community.
The Kettering plant will be Ball’s third UK can manufacturing site, alongside the consolidated plants in Milton Keynes and Wakefield, bringing the new total in the EMEA region to 26.