After construction, due to begin in early March, the 7,000m2 plant could produce 60,000 bottles of beer every hour. Maximum production capacity will be an estimated 10M bottles a year – doubling current capacity at the site.
Carlsberg also plans to install new storage vessels later this year. They would increase the brewery’s beer production capacity to 7M hectolitres a year – equivalent to 1.3bn pints.
A Carlsberg UK spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk:“Capacity at Northampton has been stretched by the introduction of new brands like San Miguel Fresca.
“Constructing the bottling plant will help to take care of this and also allow us to bring back outsourced bottling from France,”she added.
The investment is designed to bring greater flexibility in the handling of bottle sizes, number of bottles per pack and packaging options such as shrink-wrap and cardboard.
The facility will bottle beer across Carlsberg’s range of UK brands including: Carlsberg, Carlsberg Export, Carlsberg Special Brew, Tuborg, San Miguel, Holsten and Skol.
The investment will create 60 new jobs in roles such as manufacturing, engineering, management and forklift driving.
The plant – which includes related offices and a car park ­­– received planning permission from West Northamptonshire Development Corporation’s (WNDC) Planning Committee.
Adrian Arnold, WNDC’s director of planning services said:“We welcome Carlsberg UK’s expansion, which reflects the confidence of the business and investment community in Northampton.
"The bottling plant will be a high quality addition to their existing brewery, which is widely regarded as a local landmark.”
Construction is expected to last eight months.
Brewing, fermenting and filtration
The latest investment follows the completion last October of a £40M project to build a single control room to manage the site’s brewing, fermenting and filtration processes.
It also involved the transfer of beer storage vessels and an additional canning line, along with other equipment, to Northampton from Carlsberg’s former Tetley brewery site in Leeds, which closed last year.
This expanded overall brewing capacity at Northampton from 4.5M to 6.7M hectolitres each year and created 20 new jobs.
The investment also helped the firm significantly reduce its consumption of gas and electricity while cutting waste, said the spokeswoman.