UK – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners has announced plans to invest £31 million (US$ 37.81m) in its Wakefield manufacturing site, aiming to expand production in the UK.
CCEP says it will use the investment to establish a new canning line at the plant, which is purported to be Europe’s largest soft drinks plant based on volume measurement.
The new canning line, which is scheduled to be operational in 2024, will have the capacity to produce 2,000 cans per minute.
According to CCEP, the new line will provide additional production capabilities for its lightweight 330ml cans. Advanced technologies will be incorporated into the production line to help minimize energy, water, and CO2 consumption.
The existing workforce of 500 at the site will be strengthened by the addition of 28 new roles and extra training.
Funding will also be allocated towards infrastructure upgrades to optimize the factory for production and future innovations.
This will include the construction and fitting of a new warehouse for storing raw materials, as well as additional storage for utilities and the expansion of other facilities on site.
Vanessa Smith, the director of supply chain operations at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, stated, “We are dedicated to enhancing our facilities to remain at the cutting edge of innovation, guaranteeing that we can consistently provide beverages to our customers and consumers in an environmentally responsible manner.
“This latest investment underscores our commitment to our Wakefield site and the 500 colleagues who work here, ranging from our apprentices to our most experienced employees.
“In addition to enhancing our production capabilities, we are dedicated to promoting diversity in our workforce to better represent the communities in which we operate. This includes actively seeking to hire more women and individuals from diverse backgrounds for manufacturing, logistics, and distribution positions.
“We are shifting our hiring processes to prioritize skills and aptitude rather than solely relying on historical qualifications. Additionally, we are providing more flexible working options to accommodate a variety of lifestyles.”
The company has invested £118 million (US$143.92m) in the facility since 2017, and this latest milestone marks another step in supporting CCEP’s sustainability action plan.
Last month, CCEP announced its intention to acquire Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. (CCBPI) for US$1.8 billion, a significant deal that has the potential to reshape the beverage industry in the Philippines.
The proposed acquisition, which was revealed through a joint statement by both companies, is part of CCEP’s strategic expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region.
A takeover is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. CCEP stated that the agreement is still subject to various conditions, such as due diligence and regulatory approval. There is no guarantee that the agreement will be finalized or completed.
The deal, if successful, is expected to solidify CCEP’s position as one of the leading bottlers and distributors of Coca-Cola products worldwide.
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