Infant formula can plant starts up in China

Newly-formed Chinese canmaker Shijiazhuang Guanling Packaging has opened a plant to make cans for packing infant formula.

The canmaker, based about 150km southwest of Beijing, said the line would eventually be able to produce 75 million cans of various sizes each year with anticipated sales of RMB300m (US$43m).

The plant, which will cost RMB510m to build, went into trial operation in early July, according to local media reports. The first phase cost RMB210m.

Shijiazhuang Guanling Packaging’s canmaking line was described in local media as “fully automatic, intelligent and high-speed”. Equipment used on the line includes Yuanrox, Longwen, Zigga and ABB. The company supplies cans to local milk producer Junlebao Taihang Dairy and three other dairies in the region, considered the heart of China’s dairy industry.

The canmaker was formed by Qingdao Beiqi Industrial, which had supplied Junlebao Taihang with cans until the coronavirus epidemic in the spring disrupted transport links. Qingdao is 660m from Xingtang, where the dairy companies are located. The plant was built in just 106 days in order to get milk products back onto the market as quickly as possible.

By meeting the “shortcomings of the dairy industry in the canning and packaging process [the plant] can guarantee the supply of milk powder cans for four dairy companies including Junlebao Taihang Dairy, which greatly reduces the logistics and transportation costs of local companies”, Shijiazhuang Guanling Packaging deputy general manager Sui Chenxin was quoted as saying in the Hebei Daily newspaper.

Canmakers in Europe, Asia and Australia are meeting growing demand for infant milk formula containers in China as sales of the product surge with more women entering the workforce and amid health concerns surrounding the coronavirus epidemic. In May Australia-China trade specialist Jatenergy cut a deal with Hipac, China’s largest business-to-business platform for mother and baby care products, to grow exports of its Neurio formula in the country.

Shijiazhuang Guanling Packaging’s plant was opened in a glitzy ceremony attended by local Communist Party leaders and executives from the company and its parent. According to Shijiazhuang Guanling Packaging’s website, the development will create more than 100 jobs and help promote local business.

“It can drive local economic development and promote industrial transformation and improvements,” the company said.