The plant was previously converted from aluminium to steel, and is now being converted back.
Ardagh Group will invest in a manufacturing plant in the UK for the purpose of converting its beverage can production capabilities from steel to aluminium.
Conversion at the site in Rugby, Warwickshire will begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with completion anticipated for the first quarter of 2018.
Ardagh’s production site in Wrexham, as well as other locations across Europe, will help to support the loss in capacity while the plant is being converted.
The manufacturer said that the move would help to strengthen its relationship with its customers in the beverage industry. The Rugby plant was first established as a two-line aluminium plant in 1989, and converted to steel in 1996. Its latest conversion reflects the fact that demand for steel is dwindling in the face of aluminium beverage cans, which are more lightweight and infinitely recyclable.
According to Ardagh, the investment also shows ‘clear intent’ to further develop its recently acquired beverage can business.
Most recently, it agreed to acquire select metal beverage can assets, support locations and functions in Europe, Brazil and the United States from Rexam and Ball. The $3.42 billion acquisition followed the decision by Ball and Rexam to merge, creating the largest can manufacturer in the world.
Ardagh Metal Beverage CEO Oliver Graham said: “We look at this conversion as a key move in furthering Ardagh’s overall footprint and are confident it will be welcomed by our customers, the Rugby plant and our other key stakeholders.”
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