Coca-Cola expands China’s production capacity with US$75.3m investment

CHINA – Coca-Cola China and its bottling partners have invested a total of 520 million yuan (US$75.3 million), in establishment of new production lines and a factory, to improve efficiency, ensure supply and meet evolving consumer demands.

The announcement comes after the Chinese market saw a positive performance in Coca-Cola’s second quarter results which helped partially offset declines in the Asia Pacific region.

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Responding to the positive results, Swire Coca-Cola, a bottler of the multinational beverage company, plans to open half a dozen new production lines before the end of 2020 with a total investment of 250 million yuan (US$36 million).

The facilities are expected to crank out US$244 million worth of soda and other soft drinks per year.

While Swire Coca-Cola saw business “adversely affected” by Covid-19 in its first half, the company said it was recovering strongly, particularly in the Chinese mainland in the second quarter.

Swire Coca-Cola also plans to add a plastic bottle production line to its plant in central China’s Hubei Province, which is expected to go operational in May 2021.

Meanwhile, COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages, another bottling partner of Coca-Cola, will invest an estimated 270 million yuan (US$39.1 million) to inaugurate its first factory located in China’s southwestern province of Guizhou.

The facility, scheduled for operation by the end of 2021, will initially start with two advanced PET soda production lines.

It is expected to become an automatic and intelligent advanced factory with an annual production capacity of around 170,000 tones.

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The announcement comes after COFCO revealed it had set up a world’s fastest automated production line in its plant in Sichuan Province.

It can reportedly produce 120,000 cans every hour and reaching an annual production capacity of 260,000 metric tons.

Besides launching new production lines, the company has also accelerated digital transformation in China in the face of the surging demand for online shopping since the outbreak of the epidemic.

Coca-Cola China has been working closely with online shopping and services platforms such as Meituan Dianping and JD.com this year to tap the potential of online consumption.

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