Los Lunas, New Mexico, May 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday that a capital investment group has pledged to create more than 950 jobs and invest more than $2 billion dollars in the construction of an aluminum can foil 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 expected to begin in late 2023 and manufacturing in 2026. The facility would be powered by 100% renewable energy from PNM and would have the capacity to manufacture up to 1.3 billion pounds of aluminum per year, with plans to ensure 85% recycled content once the plant is fully operational.
“The partnerships we’ve built to create and grow a renewable energy economy in New Mexico are attractive to businesses looking for friendly places to grow,” Governor Lujan Grisham said. “Aluminum 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 build and operate the plant. Ball Corporation, one of the world’s leading suppliers of infinitely recyclable beverage packaging, will enter into a long-term supply agreement and also intends to take a minority stake.
Manna chose New Mexico in part because of its competitive business climate, proximity to a transportation network that includes rail service, the growth of can manufacturing facilities in the southwestern United States, and Governor Lujan Grisham’s commitment to sustainable energy. The governor specifically targeted sustainable manufacturing for additional public investment to diversify New Mexico’s economy and create better-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 when the manufacturer meets economic development criteria, to be determined in a project participation agreement.
The jobs will bring in an average of $68,000 per year and the project is expected to have an economic impact of $3.4 billion over 10 years.
“This state investment will not only bring new, better-paying jobs to New Mexicans, but it will expand our manufacturing footprint with sustainable and responsible products that will see growing demand,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. The ministry and our partners worked together for months to bring this project here. We competed against 10 other sites and now these jobs are coming to New Mexico. True collaborative efforts like this translate into great successes for our state.”
The Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance (AREA) received the company’s initial application and subsequently played a critical role in the site selection process and provided key assistance to investors.
“Since last August, when AREA was contacted by Manna Capital Partners and introduced to its project, AREA’s Director of Business Development, Grant Taylor, has worked as a focal point to collect data, connect with partners and return every stone that helped the company make its decision to locate in the region,” said Danielle Casey, President and CEO of AREA. “The Manna team has demonstrated that they will be a tremendous corporate citizen in the state and an employer of choice in the region. From Governor Lujan Grisham to Mayor Griego to many economic development partners, we are grateful for everyone’s investment and continued stewardship to ensure the success of this project.
Global demand for aluminum cans is expected to experience strong growth over the next decade. From wine to hard seltzer water and flavored water to energy drinks, canned beverages are growing and are preferred by consumers. The facility plans to be one of the greenest, most efficient, and highest quality aluminum sheet suppliers in the United States.
“There is a growing demand for recycled aluminum packaging from beverage manufacturers driven by a desire for sustainability. New Mexico has given us the opportunity to respond with what we anticipate will be the newest state-of-the-art aluminum rolling mill in North America. This project will have a positive impact on people’s lives and is a win-win situation for everyone,” said Junior Bridgeman, Managing Partner of Manna Capital Partners.
The Village of Los Lunas also assists the manufacturer in issuing industrial tax bonds and will act as tax agent. The project can also qualify for a refund of a percentage of the GRT it spends on construction, under a 2021 law signed by Governor Lujan Grisham that allows only part of the revenue tax construction-related gross be reimbursed to companies for large, large job-creating projects.
“Manna Capital Partners’ planned investment in the Village of Los Lunas is a tremendous win for our community as we continue to work every day to retain and attract businesses and employees. It sends a strong message that our community is growing, thriving and an attractive place for businesses to locate and succeed,” said Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego. “This is a great day for the Village of Los Lunas, Valencia County, Metro du Greater Albuquerque and the State of New Mexico. The jobs and investments will reverberate for years and generations to come. The Department of Economic Development and AREA played an important role in the smoothness of the overall process and deserve special thanks for their continued support.
The aid is pending formal review and approvals from the governing bodies of Valencia County and the Village of Los Lunas.
The New Mexico Public Service Company works closely with Manna throughout the process to ensure renewable energy goals are met. The manufacturing process will require more than 500,000 megawatts of electricity per year.
“PNM is proud of the work we’ve done to bring our electricity generation ever closer to 100% carbon-free generation. Working with the Governor and his administration, New Mexico’s clean energy transition efforts are noticed by companies that value environmentally sustainable energy. Our combined efforts provide economic opportunities and new jobs for new Mexicans,” said PNM CEO and Chairman of the Board, Pat Vincent-Collawn. .
About Manna Capital Partners: Manna Capital Partners is a private investment firm founded by Junior Bridgeman and Kevin Attkisson. The company and its subsidiaries focus on investment and acquisition opportunities across multiple sectors in the United States and internationally, including sustainability investments and impact-oriented opportunities for businesses and minority and women’s communities. For more information, contact Manna Capital Partners at [email protected] or 502.805.1329.
The mission of the New Mexico Department of Economic Development (EDD) is to improve the lives of New Mexico families by increasing economic opportunity and providing a place where businesses can thrive.
EDD’s programs contribute directly to this mission by providing funds to train our workforce, providing infrastructure that supports business growth, and helping every community create a thriving economy. Since January 1, 2019, EDD has supported more than 13,000 new jobs and trained 8,323 New Mexicans for better pay. EDD has used LEDA to invest in 53 companies, supporting over 7,500 new jobs at an average salary of $70,000, $531 million in annual payroll, $5.2 billion in new capital investments and economic impact over ten years of more than 30 billion dollars. Thirty-nine communities in 22 counties have benefited from EDD programs.