Africa-Press – Botswana. Coca-Cola Beverages Botswana (CCBB) has unveiled a new state-of-the art production line and a water treatment plant worth P310 million.
Speaking at the launch of the plant in Gaborone Thursday, CCBB Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jacques Vermeulen said the investment would significantly increase the factory’s production capacity and make the company fully compliant in ensuring that clean water was returned to the environment.
Further, he said the new production line was the most advanced polyethylene phthalate (PET) production line in the country.
Mr Vermeulen said the line had a productive capacity of 13 500 bottles per hour and was equipped with the latest industry technology, saying that the investment was a clear demonstration of their continued belief in the future of Botswana.
He said their investment doubled as a result of the confidence they had in Botswana.
“Coca-Cola and CCBB have built a very strong 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,” he said.
Mr Vermeulen said they hired locally, manufactured and distributed their products locally and were increasingly sourcing locally, adding that they would be sourcing shrink wrap and closures for their products locally.
Vice president of Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, Ms Debra Mallowah said they were investing in new businesses to accelerate growth, expand their beverage offering and responding to consumer preferences such as reducing sugar in sparkling beverages, and expanding categories such as juices, tea and coffee.
Ms Mallowah reiterated that they were developing talent to drive African growth plan and investing in communities to create shared opportunity and enhance the prosperity of communities.
She underlined that 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,” she said.
Notably, Ms Mallowah said the installation of their new PET line allowed for faster and more efficient production of PET products, increasing productivity, while also producing bottles with higher clarity and strength.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mmusi Kgafela said the new plant would ensure adequate local production to meet the demand that had always been met through imports.
Mr Kgafela said this would contribute to import substitution, which had always been a thorn in the government’s flesh, adding that the country needed self-sufficiency in all that it produces.
Therefore, the minister urged CCBB to continue so that this eventually lead to surplus production burgeoning exports.