South Africa's packaging group, Nampak, has boosted its growth strategy with the announcement that the company will invest R600 million in a state-of-the-art beverage can manufacturing facility in Angola.
The group's CEO, John Bortolan, said that while the Angola beverage can facility is one of the most significant greenfield investments in the company's history, it's part of a series of growth initiatives, in which the company has invested over R1.5 billion in the past 12 months.
The Angolan beverage can facility will be built in Viana, a newly developed industrial area near the country's capital, Luanda. The latest beverage can-making technology will be installed on the site and will include the fastest beverage steel can production line in the Southern Hemisphere.
Commissioning is expected to take place in mid 2009.
The decision to expand into Angola is part of the group's Africa strategy, which includes investing in high growth areas and partnering customers in new territories. With an annual growth rate of over 20%, the Angolan economy is one of the most rapidly growing in Africa.
The Angolan beverage can market is estimated to be in excess of 600 million cans per year, of which the company currently supplies some 400 million cans from its South African operations. The balance is sourced from overseas markets.
The new facility will be able to produce up to 700 million cans annually and has been designed to accommodate a second line in order to meet future growth. In turn, the freed up capacity in South Africa will be available to meet growing demand locally.
For Bortolan, the Angolan project represents the culmination of a busy year, which has seen the group invest in a number of growth initiatives. "We have stated that we are pursuing a growth strategy and this has seen us focus on several specific areas."
Among the flagship projects are major investments in a Cartons & Labels facility in Nigeria, as well as a paper mill and glass plant refurbishment in South Africa.
Bortolan anticipates that the Angolan investment will form the platform for further Nampak growth in that country.
Nampak Africa MD, Neil Cumming, said that the Angolan beverage can facility was expected to make an important contribution to the performance of the company in the years ahead. "However, we plan to make an equally important contribution to the people of Angola through job creation and skills training, as well as the importation of world-class equipment and a reduction in the quantity of imported cans, which will all be positive for the Angolan economy."