Published and written by U.S. Trade and Development Agency
In 2002, Rudi Roeslein, Chief Executive Officer of Roeslein & Associates, approached USTDA to fund a feasibility study on the construction of a two-piece can manufacturing facility in Nigeria. At the time Roeslein & Associates was looking to expand into emerging economies, but the company was too small to fund a study on market potential in a country like Nigeria. As a result, USTDA provided $251,080 for Roeslein to conduct a feasibility study to determine if the financial, economic and design of the facility would support the building of the only can making facility in Sub-Saharan Africa. In manufacturing the canning facility, Roeslein builds the modular pieces in Red Bud, Illinois, about 25 miles southeast of St. Louis. Once assembled the individual can manufacturing modules are then shipped in standard shipping containers, and connected on-site to form a full two-piece can manufacturing facility. This type of factory design allows for technical work to be exported, and is easier to assemble than more traditional factory designs where the entire facility is constructed on-site.
Ultimately, Roeslein & Associates partnered with GZ Industries, an Israeli company, along with Ex-Im Bank, to finance and construct the $61 million facility, which is now the process of being erected in Nigeria. Of the total construction costs, $30 million was awarded to Roeslein & Associates to construct the two-piece can manufacturing equipment.
Based on this success, Roeslein and Associates refunded USTDA the full amount of the grant and said that “this project was a priority for our company and presented a real opportunity for our employees to apply their expertise and experience in establishing a world-class can manufacturing facility in Nigeria,” and that “USTDA’s support served as a catalyst in moving the project forward and in providing the bankable documents necessary for the project to succeed.” This contract was able to keep 200 workers employed in Red Bud, IL while also resulting in an estimated 125 jobs created in Nigeria. The new can manufacturing facility opened in September 2009.