The site, which is expected to be operational by mid 2009, will have one line with an initial annual production capacity of 600m cans, allowing it to supply the majority of the country's can filling lines, according to the company. Like other packagers Ball is following its customers as they move into new and emerging markets for their products, one of the big trends in the industry. For processors such moves tend to give them a degree of confidence in dealing with a known supplier. The construction will further improve the supply of packaging beverage manufacturers in the country as well as extending Ball's presence in an emerging market for its products. Group president John Hayes said the decision to enter the country had stemmed from attempts to keep up with its own competitors, while also highlighting the growing importance of growing beverage markets in Asia. "Many of our existing and potential customers are making significant investments in India, and we believe that now is the right time for us to invest there as well," he stated. "Ball and its licensees have been exporting cans to India for several years to help develop the market and to serve customers as various beverage filling facilities have become operational." The company is a subsidiary of Ball Packaging, a global supplier of packing materials for the food, beverage and cosmetics industries, with reported sales of $6.6bn.