Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated a new Coca-Cola factory in the Matola-Gare neighbourhood, on the outskirts of Maputo.
According to the chairperson of the board of Directors of Coca-Cola-Mozambique, Benjamim Alfredo, this brand new plant cost 120 million US dollars, and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
In its initial phase, the factory will be able to produce 50 million crates of soft drinks a year. In a second phase, capacity will increase to 70 million crates a year, and in a third, to 150 million crates a year.
During the construction phase, the plant employed 1,200 people, of whom 1,000 were Mozambicans. In the initial operational phase it is employing 300 Mozambican workers. This could rise to 700 by the third phase.
Speaking at the inauguration, Nyusi said “Investment occurs where there is a favourable economic environment. This plant is testament to the contribution of the private sector to the development of Mozambique. The government will continue to promote industrialization to create jobs and maximize the value chain”.
Nyusi added that he is aware that some of the sugar used by Coca-Cola as raw material is not produced in Mozambique, but is imported. He stressed that the Mozambican sugar industry has the capacity to produce all the sugar that Coca-Cola needs.
This is a longstanding problem. Soft drinks companies insist on refined sugar, and the vast bulk of the sugar produced in Mozambique is not refined. Last July the Minister of Industry and Trade, Max Tonela, was optimistic that Coca-Cola would switch to Mozambican sugar and buy 10,000 tonnes a year. But this depends on the sugar mills producing the type of refined sugar demanded by soft drinks companies.