Coca-Cola European Partners invests millions at Edmonton

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Part of CCEP's £150m investment has supported the opening of a new lightweight canning line and automated retrieval warehouse system at Sidcup
Part of CCEP's £150m investment has supported the opening of a new lightweight canning line and automated retrieval warehouse system at Sidcup

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Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is opening a new £20m line at its Edmonton factory in North London as part of a wider £150m investment in its UK operations this year.

The production line will make bag-in-box products that contain concentrate for foodservice and licensed operators to mix with carbonated water, enabling them to dispense draught soft drinks to their customers. With no consumer packaging and less water, CCEP claimed the format was a sustainable way to deliver soft drinks, saving the equivalent of 48,400 tonnes (t) of CO2​ versus previous production methods. The line also features highly energy-efficient machinery and robotic packers.

It is one of a number of announcements made this year, as part of CCEP’s ongoing multi-year investment programme, which has reached a total of £650m since 2010 in Great Britain.

The investment programme has continued to increase CCEP’s capacity and capabilities to serve customers efficiently and support its portfolio of drinks sustainably, providing a greater choice of products and packs, according to the company. At the same time, it has provided learning and development opportunities for CCEP employees by creating new technical roles and apprenticeships, as well as boosting the skills of existing teams across all levels. 

CCEP said 2019 had seen a record level of investment at its Wakefield, Sidcup and East Kilbride operations. This had included significant investment in the business’ production lines to operate in the most sustainable way possible, supporting CCEP’s sustainability action plan, This is Forward​.

Energy savings, water reduction

The plan has incorporated energy savings across new lines from a combination of technologies, including automatic control of conveyors and energy sub-metering, plus water reduction achieved by air-rinsing cans and dry lubrication on conveyors. This came in addition to a £10m new process plant, designed to regulate processes across lines and help to reduce water and energy usage.

A £15m investment at the business’ Wakefield site also formed part of a wider initiative to end the use of plastic shrink-wrap across all multipacks of cans across GB with 100% cardboard. The move would see 4,000t of plastic removed from across Europe, added the firm.

A combined investment of £40m at its Wakefield and Sidcup sites has supported the opening of two new canning production lines – dedicated to making CCEP’s latest lightweight cans, ranging in size from 330ml to 550ml.

And a new £39m automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) warehouse has opened at CCEP’s Sidcup factory, saving over 10,000 road miles by HGV trucks and almost 4,000t of CO2​ per year. As part of this, CCEP has a dedicated ASRS team on-site, consisting of eight existing employees who were retrained as part of the upskilling programme to see them become part of the ASRS team.

Robotic fillers

A £23m investment at the business’ East Kilbride site included two new bespoke robotic multi-pack fillers, featuring water-efficient pouch cooling technology and the use of lighter cardboard boxes for Capri-Sun. The investment also supported the creation of 18 roles and additional investment to train the 170-strong workforce at the site.

CCEP has also invested £1m in its apprenticeship scheme, which has accelerated by 50% over last two years, with more than 75 recruits across field sales and manufacturing.

“At CCEP, we are proud to be a truly local business, making globally recognised products right here in Great Britain,"​ said Leendert den Hollander, vice-president and general manager, CCEP. "We are committed to investing for the future, increasing the scale of our investments in new technologies and efficient processes, as well as investing in and supporting our people to ensure they’re continuing to grow, learn and develop in line with new technologies and systems."

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