Coca-Cola Plans N$500 Million Investment

COCA-Cola Namibia Bottling Company plans to invest N$500 million in its production facilities over the next two years, managing director Frik Oosthuizen has revealed.

Coca-Cola Namibia Bottling Company (formerly Namibia Beverages) first started bottling Coca-Cola in 1953. Today, two manufacturing plants, in Windhoek and Oshakati, supply their products in Namibia.

Although the company grew year on year since it was founded, it has experienced phenomenal growth over the past 10 to 15 years, at an average of 10% annually over this period.

Ten years ago there were four production lines (three in Windhoek and one in Oshakati) and these have since been increased to seven.

“More production lines were required, because the sales generated in Namibia (per capita consumption) are the highest in Africa and based on GDP generated in the country, some of the highest in the world,” said Oosthuizen.

He said exceptional growth in sales over time has led to a short supply of products, therefore capacity improvements had to be brought forward from the original dates planned.

Last week, the company launched a a new state-of-the-art production line.

Oosthuizen said the all-in-one production line is completely automated and was manufactured using the latest technology available in the world as developed by KHS in Germany.

The installation process took six months. The new line can produce up to 36 000 bottles per hour, which is more than most of the company’s other lines combined can produce.

Earlier this year, eight staff members were trained in Germany over a 30-day period in order to understand and operate this new line.

“The total cost of this project is approximately N$300 million. Combined, the company’s planned investment expenditure in Namibia, over the three years (2013 to 2015), now amounts to over N$500 million,” Oosthuizen said.

He said many new products and package innovations will be introduced from this new line.

“For example, the new 600ml Coca-Cola will replace the 500ml at the same price, Oosthuizen said.

The northern parts of the country have in the past few years experienced shortages of Coca-Cola beverages during the festive season.

In December 2012, the supply of beverages angered a lot of traders.

Statistics issued by the company, then showed that demand for Coca-Cola grew by 25% in 2012 and further increased in December, making it nearly impossible for the company to meet the demand.

Source : The Namibian