SOUTH AFRICA – Ardagh Glass Packaging Africa (AGP Africa), former Consol Glass, has commissioned a R1.5 billion (US$95m) extension of its Nigel production facility in Gauteng, South Africa.
Ardagh, a global supplier of metal and glass packaging, finalized the acquisition of Consol Group, Africa’s largest glass packaging maker by manufacturing capacity in April for US$1 billion.
As part of its terms and conditions for acquiring Consol, the Competition Commission required that the group invest in the construction of a new glass manufacturing facility, and favour small vendors when procuring recycled glass or cullet for use in its operations.
Other conditions included supporting SMME customers through a reduction of minimum order quantities, increasing pre-merger procurement of cullet from small vendors, and using reasonable endeavours to introduce a new production line of glass-related products in the country.
Expansion of the Nigel plant is part of the company’s adherence to the commission’s requirement, in addition to its commitment to a third furnace at the facility.
The new investment, incorporating a new furnace and production lines, has more than doubled the facility’s capacity to provide sustainable glass packaging to support its customers’ current and projected demand growth.
It also provides significant energy, water efficiency and environmental benefits, representing another important step in AGP – Africa’s journey to de-carbonise the glass production process and reduce emissions in the communities in which it operates.
Paul Coulson, Chairman and CEO of Ardagh Group, said, “Demand for sustainable packaging in Africa is growing strongly, supported by multiple factors, including rising income levels, growing sustainability awareness, favourable demographics and a shift to one-way packaging.
“We are committed to investing in our people and our asset base to enable us to serve this strong demand growth over the near term.”
This significant capital investment will bolster the government’s economic recovery plans and the project will offer much-needed job opportunities in Ekurhuleni, a city that has always had an unemployment rate that is above the Gauteng and national averages.
The expansion has so far created more than 150 direct jobs and significant ancillary supply-chain expenditure.
Paul Curnow, AGP – Africa’s CEO, said, “We are proud to commission this significant capacity investment, which supports strong demand from our customers for sustainable, premium glass packaging.
“Completion of this project, on time and budget despite the Covid-19 and supply chain challenges of the past two years, represents a tremendous achievement by our technical and operational teams.
“The outlook for premium, sustainable glass packaging remains positive and AGP – Africa expects to continue to invest in support of future market growth.”
Following the acquisition, AGP – Africa’s is now custodian of four well-invested glass production facilities in South Africa. It also has smaller production facilities in Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia.