Yesterday I had a chance to visit the Nairobi Bottlers new plant along Kagundo road. Nairobi Bottlers Limited, Coca-Cola’s leading local independent bottling franchise, has invested Shs1.2billion in a new state of the art pre-form manufacturing plant. The demand for plastic bottled products has increased, and the plant will be able to meet the demand both locally and for the export market.
The facility was opened by our Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero. There was a tour of the facility, before guests were treated to a fabulous meal and entertainment.
Facts about the new facility
• The facility is the first of it’s kind in Africa. Coca Cola Sabco doesn’t have another like it even in SA.
• According to the company, there is growing demand for plastic compared to glass which currently controls 70 percent of the packaging.
• The two pre-form manufacturing machines have the capacity to produce over 0.9 million pieces a day.
• Nairobi Bottlers had been sourcing raw materials for the performs from independent suppliers in the country. Nairobi Bottlers were previously importing 40% of their preform requirement and now they shall be able to be self-reliant on the same from Kenya.
• The plant will enable the company to produce preforms used in the manufacture of plastic bottles for packaging of Coca-Cola range of soft drinks and Dasani water.
• The company plans to export some of the preforms to countries like Uganda, and Tanzania, then later to Ethiopia and Mozambique.
• The new facility is also expected to create employment directly at the plant and indirectly through the value chain of collectors and transporters.
I had visited the Nairobi Bottler’s facility in Embakasi before. Here is the post visit to Coca Cola Sabco – Nairobi Bottlers. It is a very impressive plant. The new perform plant is a huge investment is part of Nairobi Bottlers’ growth strategy as it strives to take advantage of emerging opportunities both locally and in the export markets within the region. The new facility takes the total investment by the company alone to over Shs3billlion within a year.
Nairobi Bottlers Managing Director Patrick Pech said the setting up of the facility was informed by the growing demand for plastic bottled products which meant spending huge sums of money sourcing for preforms to make the plastic bottles. The new facility is expected to help the company save millions of shillings it has been spending on buying preforms from independent suppliers. Pech noted that the funds saved will be redirected towards Nairobi Bottlers’ business expansion programs.
“Looking at the projected growth of our business and need to expand our business to better meet consumer needs, we made a decision to invest aggressively including setting up a PET line last year and now this facility. That decision today presents us with the opportunity to grow our business year on year and at the same time help meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for Coca-Cola brands,” he said.
Chairman Chris Kirubi says that the plant is part of the firm’s growth strategy to take advantage of opportunities coming up in both the local and regional markets. Kirubi talked about creating job opportunities for young people by expanding investments by businesses. Addressing the Governor he asked that the Nairobi Country government should create avenues for young people to do business in the city and be able to work without being unduly harassed by city council askaris.
Kirubi also stated that Nairobi Bottlers was committed to the city and if they were needed they were ready to help clean the city. Kirubi said that we need to stop always quoting Rwanda, we need to make Nairobi cleaner then Kigali. He said that they will work in partnership with the governor to do it.
The Nairobi Governor, Dr. Evans Kidero said that in the past you would know that you have reached civilization by seeing a Coca Cola shop & a post office. He asked that Coca Cola and Nairobi Bottlers consider working more closely with local sugar manufacturers to ensure that they used local sugar in the manufacturing of sodas so as to improve the local economy.
Dr. Kidero also promised that he would help create a great working environment for women, by supporting the 5by20 initiative by Coca Cola. The 5by20 is an initiative by Coca Cola to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across their global value chain by 2020. To find out more about that program click on this link.
It’s great to see that Coca Cola Sabco is investing in the country and creating job opportunities for Kenyans. I got to see history in the making thanks to the invitation by Duncan Kimani, the Country Manufacturing Manager, Kenya. I got to taste the new Dasani Sparkling water. We also got a very nice goody bag with Coca Cola merchandise. My only question as a loyal Ginger Ale drinker is when can I expect to be drinking my favorite drink in a PET bottle?