Through its affiliate, Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East and in conjunction with its long-standing regional partner Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers, Crown plans to install two new lines; one in its Jeddah, Saudi Arabia plant and the other in its Dubai, United Arab Emirates plant.
Crown expects the first line to be operational early in 2006 with the second line operational by mid-year 2006, bringing an additional 1.5 billion cans of capacity to the region.
This follows a three-year programme of capacity enhancement of over 1 billion cans in Crown's existing plants in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates culminating in the start-up next April of a second line in Jordan. The plants, located in Amman, Dammam, Jeddah and Dubai, are all joint ventures between Crown and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers.
"These investments will allow us to further build on our long-established position in the Middle East," said John Clinton, senior vice-president of Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East. "Crown is deeply committed to providing our customers with the cans they need to meet current growth in this dynamic market and anticipated long-term demand."
In addition to the capacity expansion noted above, the company has confirmed that construction of its new beverage can facility in Tunisia, North Africa is well underway. The plant, located in the Tunisian capital of Tunis, will be operational in the second half of 2005 and will have an initial annual capacity of 635 million cans.
The move follows the recent announcement that Alcoa Closure Systems International (CSI) has opened a new plant outside of Cairo, Egypt to support beverage customers in North Africa.
Alcoa CSI produces plastic and aluminium bottle closures and packaging machinery for the beverage and food industries worldwide. The new facility has the capability to produce 800 million closures per year and had already begun shipment to customers. This is Alcoa's first operating facility in Egypt.
"This plant supports Alcoa's aim of meeting our customers' needs for prompt, competitive closure supply," said Eduardo Gemelli, general Manager of Alcoa CSI Europe, who is also responsible for CSI Egypt.