A new 100 million USD Coca-Cola bottling plant has officially opened in Sebeta Town of Ethiopia last week.
The newly inaugurated plant will unlock export opportunities, increase local production and ease foreign exchange constraints, says Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).
The factory, CCBA’s fifth in Ethiopia, brings the production capacity of the company to more than 100 million cases a year and allows it to produce new products such as Minute Maid Juice, locally.
Its officials said the plant will enable the company to integrate the production of inputs such as preforms, closures, and other materials.
Also read: Ethiopia’s ‘foreign investor’
These input materials, besides meeting local demand, are planned for the export market to generate foreign exchange and supply the local market to help resolve shortages in the sector.
Managing director of CCBA Ethiopia, Daryl Wilson said the opening of the new plant in Sebeta was another proud milestone in the company’s growth in the country. The first Coca-Cola bottle was manufactured in 1959 in the Abinet Area of Addis Ababa.
“Since then, Coca-Cola has built a very strong local business in Ethiopia over more than six-decade-long of investment, creating shared opportunity for communities and employees as it continues to grow,” Wilson said. “We are proud to work with thousands of small businesses throughout the country to serve the millions of Ethiopians who choose to enjoy our products each day.”
The new plant adds 500 employees to the workforce of the CCBA, whose investments in Ethiopia created over 3,500 direct job opportunities until 2022,
Additionally, over 70,000 people are also beneficiaries of the company’s value chain, according to the CCBA.
Construction of the Sebeta plant began in 2019, following the announcement of a $300 million investment over five years to expand CCBA’s operations in Ethiopia. A sixth plant is planned at Hawassa, a city located 276 kilometers south of Addis Ababa.
This commitment was reaffirmed when the Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO, James Quincey, visited Ethiopia in 2020, accompanied by CEO of CCBA Jacques Vermeulen.
Also read: Ethiopian connects Lomé to Washington DC
“CCBA is a proud industry leader in developing increasingly sustainable ways to produce, distribute and sell our products,” said Vermeulen. “We aim to create a greater shared opportunity for the business and our host communities across the value chain.”
More New schools
In line with its strong principle of doing business the right way, CCBA said it has also constructed a school at a total cost of $236,000 in Sebeta Town following consultations with the community to understand their needs.
“Our investment in the Sebeta Dima Coca-Cola Factory confirms that we are here for the long haul, and we look forward to many more years of refreshing Ethiopia every day and making this country a better place for all,” CCBA’s CEO Vermeulen said.
Previously, the company built two state-of-the-art school blocks at Shimbit Elementary School near CCBA’s plant in Bahir Dar, benefitting 1,600 students at a total cost of $220,000.
CCBA has also set up 17 polyethylene phthalate (PET) collection centers and trained and empowered more than 14,000 women PET collectors in the country, as well as launching a 20-million-birr women and youth economic inclusion project in partnership with the Job Creation Commission of Ethiopia.
CCBA was formed in July 2016 after the combination of the southern and east Africa bottling operations of the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller plc, and Gutsche Family Investments. The group’s shareholders are currently The Coca-Cola Company 66.5% and Gutsche Family Investments 33.5%.
Featured Image Caption: CCBA has officially inaugurated its fifth plant in Ethiopia in the presence of government officials including Industry Minister Melaku Alebel and Oromia region president Shimelis Abdissa, on Tuesday May 31, 2022.