Earthquake-stricken city reaps Coca-Cola Amatil investment

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New zealand Investment Polyethylene terephthalate

Earthquake-stricken city reaps Coca-Cola Amatil investment
Leading bottler Coca-Cola Amatil New Zealand (CCANZ) has invested NZ $15m in bottle self manufacture and undertaken a multi-million dollar rebuild in Christchurch.

A new beverage bottle production line at the plant in Woolston – with an output of around 16,000 bottles per hour – will enable CCANZ to design and self-manufacture its own PET plastic beverage bottles using fewer raw materials.

To house the new machinery, CCANZ said it had invested almost $9m (€5.6m) more, to repair infrastructure and re-establish operations at Woolston, following damage from earthquakes that hit Christchurch between September 2010 and February 2011.

New plastic PET bottles will be the lightest beverage bottles ever made in New Zealand, the company said, while its ‘blow fill’ technology will deliver carbon footprint reductions of around 20% for each unit produced.

Redesigned ‘small botlle’ range

The technology – whereby the same machine both blows and fills bottles – will allow CCANZ to redesign and lightweight its small PET bottle range, for the sake of cost savings, production efficiency gains, increased product shelf life and stacking ability.

Energy savings stem mainly from use of less PET resin and on the production line itself, while the stage whereby empty bottles ready for filling are transported to CCANZ facilities has been eliminated.

The NZ investment forms part of a wider CCA group investment of AUD $450m in blow-fill manufacturing, the company’s largest infrastructure investment in a decade.

CCA is installing blow-fill technology across sites in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji from 2010-2015: the new investment means New Zealand now has three such lines, with the other two in Auckland.

More than 9,000 tonnes of PET resin per year will be saved when the technology is rolled-out group wide, according to CCA, while in New Zealand alone the firm expects to cut PET use by 12% year-on-year saving 650 tonnes of resin.

Automated distribution centre

New lightweight PET bottles will be used on all carbonated drinks brands sold by CCANZ in New Zealand: L&P, Schweppes, Deep Spring and all Coca-Cola trademark brands, bringing weight savings of 10-15%, the firm claimed.

Welcoming the investment, CCANZ md, George Adams, said: “I’m also delighted to announce that we have received approval for an additional capital investment into our Woolston site for a $5m automated distribution centre.

“Across our site rebuild, new blow-fill technology and warehouse redevelopment, we have invested close to $30m into the local community. This sort of investment is crucial for Christchurch as it continues to re-establish itself as a major business hub.”

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