Ball Packaging moves to Belgrade

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Ball Packaging Europe, part of the US-owned Ball group, has
announced that it is to build a $40 million can packaging facility,
which will be located on the outskirts of Belgrade, Serbia.

Ball​ made the announcement on the back of a strong financial performance for the year 2003. Although the packaging segment in the US had proved to be stagnant, the results of its European division perked up results significantly, particularly due to growth in the Eastern European markets.

"The facility will manufacture 33cl and and 50cl aluminium cans mainly for the soft beverage and beer segments,"​ Hans Lambert, Ball Packaging Europe regional sales director said in an exclusive interview with"The facility will serve the former Yugoslavia, parts of the Hungarian market, the growing Bulgarian market and the rest of the Balkans. It will feed a rapidly developing market in a region which is now showing significant economic growth."

Presently there are numerous redevelopment programmes throughout this region, particularly in the former Yugoslavia where efforts to rebuild the infrastructure after the war have been concerted. Now such investments are starting to pay off and in turn the consumer sector has begun to show positive signs of future growth.

"The decision to go ahead with the Belgrade facility has been bought about mainly by the increasing presence of large western brewery companies in the region, such as Heineken and Interbrew,"​ Lambert said. "The facility itself will be an entirely new construction and will include one production line making both can sizes. The expected production capacity is 650 - 750 million cans a year."

Construction is expected to begin in the next couple of months and it is anticipated that the facility will come on-line in the first quarter of 2005.

Ball Packaging Europe was formed at the end of 2002, when the Ball Group took over Germany-based drinks packaging giant Smallbach-Lubeca. The take-over has proved to be highly successful and has consequently led to an increasing share of the market. Currently packaging counts for around 90 per cent of the group's turnover, with the group's other primary concern being its US-based aerospace and technology division.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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