- First Minister and deputy First Minister join Coca-Cola HBC to celebrate largest investment in Knockmore Hill since the opening of the plant
- The launch also marks Coca-Cola’s move to a new taller ‘Sleek Can’, the most significant evolution of the pack for more than 70 year.
- The investment supports the company’s sustainability agenda, enabling the introduction of cardboard solutions for its multipack cans, eliminating 620 tonnes of plastic annually.
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC), bottling partner to The Coca-Cola Company in Northern Ireland and Ireland, has invested £9.3million in capital expenditure for the installation of a new canning line.
Coca-Cola HBC’s continued investment in the region was welcomed by the First and deputy First Minister today at the commissioning of the new canning line at Knockmore Hill;.
The canning line is the second of its kind to be installed at the plant and will support increased demand for can production, with the capacity to produce 4.8 million cans per week. It enables the plant to expand production capabilities and increase the number of products and pack sizes available. It will reduce the company’s reliance on external sourcing from other Coca-Cola HBC facilities across Europe, most notably bringing the production many of the Monster Energy products in-house.
The announcement represents a key milestone in Coca-Cola HBC’s growth and investment in Northern Ireland, where it has proudly operated for more than 80 years. Today, Coca-Cola HBC directly employs 470 people in Northern Ireland and contributes to a further 370 jobs indirectly. It is a significant contributor to the region’s economy, delivering £36M in wages along its value chain and £70M in Gross Value Added.
The new line will also support Coca-Cola’s transition to new taller “Sleek Cans”, launching this month. The move to Sleek Can marks the most significant change in Coca-Cola’s can offering for more than 70 years and is a first for the soft drink industry in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The investment also supports Coca-Cola’s journey towards a World Without Waste, by enabling the introduction of more sustainable secondary packaging for multipack cans. Innovative paperboard and cardboard packaging solutions for multi-pack cans will be introduced this year, eliminating 620 tonnes of shrink plastic from circulation annually.
Speaking at the launch, Coca-Cola HBC’s General Manager Miles Karemacher, who was appointed in October 2019, said: “I’m very proud to join Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland at an exciting point in the company’s growth.
“Northern Ireland is a great place to do business. This investment marks our continued commitment to the region, where we have operated as a proud local employer for more than 80 years. This new canning line will serve to future-proof our growth needs for decades to come while supporting our sustainability ambitions.
“Our launch today also marks our evolution to the new stylish ‘Sleek Can’. This in turn furthers our journey towards a World Without Waste by enabling the transition to cardboard solutions for our multipack cans. We’re very proud to report that this move alone will eliminate 620 tonnes of shrink film plastic annually.
“I would like to sincerely thank the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for joining us here today and for their continued support for our business.”
The First Minister Rt Hon Arlene Foster said: “This is a significant development for Coca-Cola Hellenic and their 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 and but also contributes positively to our shared sustainability agenda.”
The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Coca-Cola HBC is an important contributor to our economy and 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.
“I congratulate Coca-Cola HBC on this exciting development and warmly welcome their ongoing investment in our local economy.”