Capable of producing 35,000 litres per hour, the line, which will be fully operational this month, is set to increase overall production capacity at the site by 50%.
The installation would enable EOL to produce five litre bottles for the first time, in addition to two and three litre bottles - boosting production capabilities and efficiencies. It could also handle lightweight bottles, removing more than 100 tonnes of plastic from the supply chain and reducing the site’s carbon footprint, according to the business.
The site forms the hub of EOL’s cooking oil production and bottles the market-leading brands of Crisp ‘n’ Dry, Flora and Mazola Corn Oil.
Largest producer of retail packaged oils
Edible Oils is a 50/50 joint venture between Princes Ltd and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and the UK’s largest producer of packaged oils for the retail sector. It supplies more than half of the UK’s own-label and branded seed oil volume.
The Erith site is one of the largest employers in the area and its operations support a number of regional jobs in businesses and industries that provide raw materials and services.
The new line would enable EOL to cut the environmental impact of the site, build on growth plans and provide future employment opportunities, said Kim Matthews, commercial director at EOL.
“Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our dedicated team have successfully adapted to new practices, working tirelessly to meet increased demand while progressing construction works at Erith, ensuring that this important project remains on track for completion later this year,” said Matthews.
Expanded dry goods warehouse
As part of the works, EOL said it had recently expanded its dry goods warehouse and installed an upgraded tank farm with oil transfer capabilities.
Further planned investment includes the construction of a fully enclosed finished goods warehouse and a new staff car park with extensive charging capabilities for electric vehicles, with the multi-year project set to be fully complete by the end of November 2021.
EOL supplies branded and customer own brand bottled oils and white fats to both the UK and mainland European markets.
Its Erith facility supplies more than 100m litres each year. It forms the hub of EOL's cooking oil production and is fully integrated with the adjacent refinery complex – one of the largest seed oil crushing and refining establishments in Europe.