By Sheri Gassaway
Arnold, MO – Several Jefferson County labor leaders were on hand during a recent groundbreaking ceremony here for a $150 million expansion to the can manufacturing plant of A-B subsidiary Metal Container Corp. (MCC).
Strong demand for aluminum Budweiser and Bud Light bottles is prompting the expansion. A-B is the U.S. unit of A-B InBev.
The 110-square-foot expansion is expected to double the company’s aluminum bottle capacity in the United States and will create about 70 jobs at the facility located at 42 Tenbrook Industrial Park.
“This will bring many good-paying jobs to the area,” said Bart Velasco, president of the Jefferson County Labor Club.
The plant currently employs about 200 people and runs continuously in two 12-hour shifts.
St. Louis-based S.M. Wilson is the general contractor on the project.
Arnold Ward 1 City Councilman Jason Fulbright said MCC is hoping to have the project complete by late 2016.
A-B completed a $130 million project to add aluminum bottle production capabilities at the plant in 2013. The current $150 million project marks the second phase in expanding aluminum bottle production.
“We have a great working relationship with Anheuser-Bush,” Fullbright said. “We’re excited to partner with them in expanding the facility for the second time in recent years.”
The expansion will double production at the plant from 1,200 bottles a minute to 2,400 bottles a minute.
MCC is receiving incentives to fund the expansion, including bonds through the city of Arnold and Jefferson County and could be eligible to receive up to $1.55 million in benefits through the Department of Economic Development’s Missouri Works program over the next six years.
The Arnold plant is one of seven facilities MCC operates nationwide.