Angola’s first beverage canmaking plant was officially opened yesterday by Dr Kiala Ngone Gabriel, the Secretary of State and Industry for the west African country.
The Angolata plant, constructed by South African-based packaging group Nampak, has capacity to make 750 million tinplate 33cl cans a year.
Nampak has been planning the US$160 million plant at the Viana Industrial Zone near the capital of Luanda since 2005 when it first announced that it would be transferring a line from one of its factories on the Cape. The project – engineered by US-based Roeslein & Associates – has since been expanded and there is room for a doubling of capacity to meet demand from customers such as the Castel brewing and soft drinks group, which is the local Coca-Cola bottler.
Erik Smuts, managing director of Nampak Bevcan, said that the plant would reduce the need for imports of cans. “We are creating 120 direct jobs for locals and are more effectively servicing our customers – namely Cuca BGI (part of the Castel group) and Coca-Cola Bottling Luanda (managed by Castel).
“Angolata should be competitive in terms of price versus the full cost of importation, but the main benefits are in bringing down our customers’ lead times from three to six months to one to two weeks, ending their headaches in managing the supply chain, and decreasing their working capital costs in raw material stockholdings, storage and damage to containers.”
The Angolan drinks market uses 1 billion cans a year, 60 percent of which are supplied by Nampak, the remainder coming from Europe.
“We want to use the Angolata factory to secure Bevcan’s current market of over 600 million cans per year,” added Smuts, “which we export from South Africa at present, and gain enough market share to justify installing a second line, which we have already laid the foundations for.”
A recycling system has already been established in Angola. “Reclatas is a partnership between Bevcan and its customers, which will recycle scrap from the canmaking process, as well as collect used beverage cans from the consumer market,” said Smuts. “We are committed to recycling and I think our Collect-a-Can operations in South Africa are testament to that.
“Cans are the ideal containers as they are robust and easy to transport once they have been filled, especially when compared to glass bottles which are heavier and incur more breakages. Cans are also well suited to selling techniques in the urban areas where vendors place them in containers of ice, from where they make the sale.
“At the moment, can filling capacity is concentrated in Luanda, but opportunities for growth in the rest of Angola will open up as the infrastructure improves in those areas.”
Nampak chairman Tito Mboweni added: “Angolata is Nampak’s single biggest greenfield investment outside of South Africa. We are very excited about extending our footprint in Angola and see the opening of this plant as proof of the growing relationship between our two countries.”