The American corporation Ball, a recyclable aluminum packaging manufacturer, wants to start construction of a new production plant in a new industrial zone in Pilsen this spring. The 170 million euros plant will create about 200 jobs. The company plans to launch operations in October 2022.
“It is a response to the growing demand from consumers who require 100% recyclability from beverage packaging materials,” a company spokesperson said. The new factory’s production capacity will be 1.6 billion cans per year in the first phase, but it will have the potential to double production.
The new plant on an area of more than 100,000 square meters with two production lines will be built in the emerging 28-hectare Panattoni Pilsen Digital Park industrial zone next to the former Škoda Plzeň complex and near the current Pilsen industrial zone Borská pole. According to Žižka, the factory will be equipped with the latest automated technologies. The first phase will create 150 new jobs after the completion of the second phase, about 200. These will be qualified engineering and engineering positions, he added.
“We know we will find skilled workers in the region, close to our key customers, to continue to benefit from our state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and high-quality beverage packaging,” said Carey Causey, President of Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA. According to her, the Pilsen plant is part of a broader strategy to increase investment in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA).
According to Gerhard Mayer, vice president of Ball Beverage Packaging EMEA, aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage packaging globally, and their recycling supports the transition to a circular economy. The cans maximize the transport capacity, and customers appreciate the light packaging that the drinks can keep fresh for consumption, said Žižka.
Ball Beverage Packing already operates in Ejpovice near Pilsen, producing hundreds of millions of beverage cans a year. About 40 km away in Stříbro, the Polish CANPACK Group started production of aluminum cans for Prazdroj with an annual capacity of 1.2 billion packages six months ago.
Ball Corporation, which also provides services to the US government in aviation and other technologies, employs over 18,300 people worldwide. All companies in the group reported a net turnover of USD 11.5 billion in 2019.
According to Panattoni CEO Pavel Sovička, the two billion crown Panattoni Pilsen Digital Park zone is intended for modern industry. At the beginning of the year, the developer received a positive opinion from the EIA (environmental impact assessment). Sovička has previously said that the first investor on Borské teras is looking for a location to open a European development center, which is to be part of the plant and establish cooperation with a local university. The city wants a Digital Park near the Borská pole zone to attract assembly plants, production with high added value, automation, new technologies, development, and core skilled workers.