Gaborone – Coca-Cola Beverages Botswana (CCBB) unveiled a new state-of-the-art production line and water treatment plant today, representing a total investment of P310 million (USD24.4m) which will significantly increase the factory’s production capacity and make the company fully compliant in ensuring that clean water is returned to the environment.
The new production line is the most advanced polyethylene phthalate (PET) production line in the country, with a capacity of 13,500 bottles per hour and equipped with the latest industry technology.
The launch event was attended by Minister of Trade and Industry, Mmusi Kgafela, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) CEO, Jacques Vermeulen, Vice President of Coca-Cola East & Central Africa, Debra Mallowah and CCBB MD David Chait, among other dignitaries.
“This investment is a clear demonstration of our continued belief in the future of Botswana and a signal of our confidence in Botswana as an investment destination,” said Vermeulen.
“Coca-Cola and CCBA have built a very strong local business in Botswana over more than 25 years. As we grow our business, we create shared opportunities for communities and employees. We are proud to work with small businesses throughout the country to serve the people of Botswana who choose to enjoy our products each day.
“We hire locally, manufacture and distribute our products locally and are increasingly sourcing locally. We already source plastic preforms locally and will also be sourcing shrink wrap and closures for our products locally,” Vermeulen added.
Mallowah said Africa continues to be an important region in Coca-Cola’s long-term growth strategy.
“We believe in Africa’s strong potential as the next growth engine of the global economy. A growing and rapidly urbanising population who are brand conscious, economically active, highly connected and innovative will drive this dynamic growth.
“We are investing in new businesses to accelerate growth, expand our beverage offering and respond to consumer preferences. For example, reducing sugar in sparkling beverages, and expanding categories like juices, tea and coffee.
“We are developing talent to drive our Africa growth plan and investing in communities to create shared opportunity and enhance the prosperity of our communities,” said Mallowah.
Chait said the company would be partnering with the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide it with clean water as well. “In a water-scarce country such as ours, we need to use water as efficiently as possible. CCBB’s investment in this water treatment plant ensures the water going back into the environment is clean.”
“The installation of our new PET line allows for faster and more efficient production of PET products, increasing productivity, while also producing bottles with higher clarity and strength.
“The new line is designed to be more energy efficient, reducing environmental impact and energy costs, and also incorporates improved safety features.
“We believe that with the installation of the new line there will be greater availability and diversity of products for our consumers, in line with our vision to refresh Africa every day and make the continent a better place for all,” Chait concluded.