May 26th, 2022 – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that a capital investment group has committed to creating over 950 jobs and investing more than $2 billion in the construction of an aluminum can sheet rolling mill and recycling center in Valencia County, New Mexico.
The group has signed a letter of intent to purchase a 1,300-acre parcel in Los Lunas with construction set to start by late 2023 and manufacturing in 2026. The facility would be powered with 100% renewable energy from PNM and have the capacity to manufacture up to 1.3 billion pounds of aluminum annually, with plans to ensure 85% recycled content after the mill is fully operational.
“The partnerships we have built to create and grow a renewable energy economy in New Mexico is appealing to businesses as they look for friendly locations to expand,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Aluminum that is produced with a low-carbon footprint is in demand as customers continue to push for sustainability, and this innovative new project in Valencia County positions New Mexico to benefit from this industry.”
Louisville-based Manna Capital Partners, a private investment firm whose founding partners are Ulysses L. “Junior” Bridgeman and Kevin R. Attkisson, will lead the project and construct and operate the mill. Ball Corporation, a leading global provider of infinitely recyclable beverage packaging, will enter into a long-term supply agreement and also intends to take a minority equity position.
Manna chose New Mexico in part because of its competitive business climate, proximity to a transportation network including rail service, the growth in can-making facilities across the Southwestern United States, and Gov. Lujan Grisham’s commitment to sustainable energy. The governor has specifically targeted sustainable manufacturing for additional state investment in order to diversify New Mexico’s economy and create higher-paying jobs.
The State of New Mexico is pledging $5 million from its Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job-creation fund to support the project with assistance paid out as the manufacturer reaches economic development benchmarks, to be determined in a Project Participation Agreement.
The jobs will pay an average of $68,000 a year and the project is expected to have an economic impact of $3.4 billion over 10 years.