Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company, inaugurated Thursday Coca-Cola China’s 43rd plant in China and its first in Shijiazhuang, Hebei.
The new plant represents a US$106 million (RMB 650 million) investment and is part of a greater three-year, US$4 billion current investment plan for 2012-2014.
“Coca-Cola’s investment in China is strategically important in achieving our 2020 Vision goals, and largely possible due to our partnerships with COFCO and our other bottling partners,” said Kent.
“This new plant in Shijiazhuang will help Coca-Cola create a lasting positive impact in the community and contribute to a sustainable future for the people of Hebei.”
Three additional lines will be installed over the next few years. With a population of more than 72 million and a per capita GDP of US$5,259, Hebei province has become one of the country’s most important growth markets, says Coca-Cola.
The capital investment provides 2,000 jobs and generates 20,000 indirect job opportunities in the local community. The new Hebei plant implements Coca-Cola’s stringent conservation and source water protection plans and efficiently manages water use by reusing treated wastewater and replenishing water used back to the community.
“Today’s inauguration of this world-class plant is a major milestone. Upon completion, it will become the largest of our 12 Coca-Cola bottling plants in China.”
With bottling plants in all five provinces of North China, this latest addition underpins Coca-Cola’s ability to deliver a robust portfolio of products that meet the increasingly diversified needs of consumers in China’s fast-growing beverage market, says the company.
Hebei has generated more than 2.4 billion servings annually and delivered double-digit cumulative average annual growth since 2008, according to Coca-Cola.