This is the second canning line of its kind to be installed at the plant by Coca-Cola HBC, the bottling partner to The Coca-Cola Company in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The new line will reduce the company’s reliance on external sourcing, allowing Coca-Cola HBC to bring many Monster Energy products in-house, as the new canning line has the capacity to produce 4.8m cans per week. It will also enable the plant to expand production capabilities and increase the number of products and pack sizes available.
The investment will support Coca-Cola’s transition to new taller ‘Sleek Cans’, which are launching this month. The company has plans to introduce new paperboard and cardboard packaging solutions for multi-pack cans this year, which will eliminate 620 tonnes of shrink plastic from circulation annually.
“Northern Ireland is a great place to do business,” said Coca-Cola HBC general manager Miles Karemacher. “This investment marks our continued commitment to the region, where we have operated as a proud local employer for more than 80 years. The new canning line will serve to future-proof our growth needs for decades to come, while supporting our sustainability ambitions.”
First Minister, the Rt Hon Arlene Foster, welcomed the development, and said: “This is a significant development for Coca-Cola HBC and its further £9.3m investment is also hugely significant for the local community and our economy.
“It is a shining example of the kind of innovative and forward thinking that not only delivers increased production capabilities, but also contributes positively to our shared sustainability agenda.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill added: “Coca-Cola HBC is an important contributor to our economy and a valued employer in the local community. As an executive, we are determined to collectively deliver prosperity for all our people, and we want to work in partnership with business and industry to deliver this.”
Coca-Cola HBC directly employs 470 people in Northern Ireland and contributes to a further 370 jobs indirectly.