UK – Multinational beverages company Molson Coors has expanded capacity at its Burton breweries in an effort to improve both operational efficiency and sustainability of its operations. 

The expansion works saw the company take delivery of a new £25m packaging equipment with capacity to fill up to 2,000 cans of beer per minute when fully installed in early 2022.  

According to Molson Coors, the equipment has been designed and built to allow it to utilise more sustainable packaging types – including the ability to transition to lightweight cans. 

The brewer further noted that it is supplementing the new line with the addition of a new hard seltzer canning line at the site to produce drinks under the three Fold brand. 

“It’s great to see this significant piece of machinery arrive at the Burton brewery after making its way through the streets of Burton upon Trent,” said Fraser Thomson Molson Coors operations director in western Europe. 

“The new high-speed filler is a great bit of kit and will help us continue to drive efficiencies in our operations and help us towards our sustainability goals.” 

Molson Coors revealed that it has invested more than £100m in its Burton brewery over the past decade and employs more than 1,000 people at the site.  

The brewery boasts a number of green credentials, including self-sufficiency in CO2 production since 2018 and sourcing all of its electricity from renewable sources. 

Encirc plans £75m national distribution hub 

Meanwhile, glass bottle manufacturer for the drinks industry Encirc has announced plans to build a £75m national distribution ‘mega hub’ at an unspecified location in the UK. 

Set for completion within the next three years, the distribution hub will feature robotic case picking, with the prepared pallets able to be delivered directly to retailers across the UK and Europe. 

By going straight to retail and reducing the reliance on regional distribution centres, the hub is set to reduce lorry movements nationwide and achieve notable carbon savings across supply chains in the UK. 

While the exact location is yet to be confirmed, the hub will have around 170,000 pallet storage spaces for customers’ bottles filled at Encirc’s Cheshire plant, as well as others that have been filled elsewhere, and imported to the UK.  

The new hub will complement Encirc’s existing automated warehouse in Elton, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe with more than 250,000 pallet spaces.  

Plans for the new mega-hub follow Encirc’s announcement that it would increase its wine filling capacity by more than 75m liters per year, as well as its intention to decarbonise its furnaces by switching to sustainable fuels in its melting process.  

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE