New PET line boosts production capacity

Filipe Navuku monitors the production process during the launching of the new Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji Latest Technology Bottle Line at Laucala Beach, Nasinu yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THE installation of a bottling line at the Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd’s factory in Laucala Beach Estate has tripled its production capacity to 21,000 bottles per hour.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins launched the newly installed blowfill PET line after a traditional ceremony held at the factory yesterday.

Ms Watkins said the new equipment replaced the ones that had been operating for the past 32 years.

She said the company had invested $35 million over the past three years in equipment and people.

With the new PET lines the company had been able to manufacture new products which were all in the market now.

Ms Watkins said despite the impact of the past three cyclones, the company had been able to deliver strong revenue volumes in its half year with a promise of more remarkable results in future.

Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd general manager Roger Hare said the installation of the latest generation Krones blow-fill technology manufactured in Germany had brought the Fiji operations into line with the latest equipment available world-wide.

“This has been a few years in the planning and I’m ecstatic that we are now up and running.

The installation of the Krones equipment began in September 2016 and our people have worked tirelessly through the installation phase and a year of acceptance testing to ensure we would be ready for the final launch today,” he said.

Mr Hare said the new line had tripled the capacity of the previous bottling line and not only supported domestic growth for the next 15 years but it also enabled the Coca-Cola Amatil Fiji business to embark on a significant export-led growth strategy over the next five to 10 years.

“This project could never have been contemplated without the support and assistance of municipal and national governments, local suppliers, manufacturers and tradespeople, and the support from the NZ Amatil production team.”

He said the important aspect for Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) was that more than $6.5m of the investment was spent with Fijian suppliers and contractors.

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