Beverages multinational Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) says its new $100-million bottling plant at Sebeta, in Ethiopia, will unlock export opportunities, increase local production and ease foreign exchange constraints.
The company also added 500 employees to its workforce in the country.
Completion of the bottling plant brings CCBA’s production capacity in Ethiopia to more than 100-million cases a year, and will enable the company to integrate the production of inputs such as preforms, closures and other materials, as well as the local production of new products, such as Minute Maid Juice, thereby reducing imports and contributing more to national gross domestic product.
The production of these input materials, besides meeting CCBA’s own demand, is planned for the export market to generate foreign exchange and supply the local market to help resolve shortages in the sector, the company says.
Construction of the Sebeta plant began in 2019, following the announcement of a $300-million investment over five years to expand CCBA’s operations in Ethiopia.
A sixth plant is planned for construction at Hawassa.
“The opening of the new plant in Sebeta is another proud milestone in CCBA’s growth in the country and the investment demonstrates confidence in the Ethiopian economy,” says CCBA Ethiopia MD Daryl Wilson.
“The first Coca-Cola bottle was manufactured in 1959 in Addis Ababa, in the Abinet Area. Since then, Coca-Cola has built a very strong local business in Ethiopia over more than six decades of investment, creating shared opportunity for communities and employees as it continues to grow.
“We are proud to work with thousands of small businesses throughout the country to serve the millions of Ethiopians who choose to enjoy our products each day. We hire locally, produce and distribute our products locally and are increasingly sourcing locally through local farmers, suppliers and retailers,” he says.
CCBA has also set up 17 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) collection centres, and trained and empowered more than 14 000 women PET collectors in the country, as well as launched a 20 million-birr women and youth economic inclusion project, in partnership with the Job Creation Commission of Ethiopia.
“We aim to create greater shared opportunity for the business and our host communities across the value chain. This is about more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities everywhere on the African continent,” says CCBA CEO Jacques Vermeulen.
“Through our investments in Ethiopia, we have grown direct employment opportunities from 1 000 in 2012 to more than 3 500 in 2022, while more than 70 000 people are beneficiaries of our value chain,” he points out.
The Coca-Cola Company believes in Africa's strong potential as the next growth engine of the global economy, says Coca-Cola Company Africa president Bruno Pietracci.
“Africa has a growing and rapidly urbanising population who is brand conscious, economically active, highly connected and innovative and will drive the continent’s dynamic growth.
“Over the past 90 years in Africa, we have built a pervasive and very strong local business, creating shared opportunity in every country on the continent. This has been one of our greatest strengths and we will continue playing a significant role in Africa,” Pietracci comments.
STANDARD BANK’S ROLE
Financial services provider Standard Bank provided CCBA with a comprehensive funding solution to build the new plant in Ethiopia.
“Through our strong sector and investment banking capabilities, as well as a geographic presence in 20 countries and intrinsic understanding of the continent, Standard Bank is well-positioned to continue partnering with our clients, such as CCBA, to unlock expansion in critical sectors such as manufacturing,” comments Standard Bank representative office head Taitu Wondwosen.
“In addition to providing financing to this deal, we have established ourselves as the primary banker to CCBA across key African countries in which the bottler operates, a strong partnership that has been key in proving insights into the high-growth Ethiopian market to offer a unique solution,” adds Standard Bank corporate financing solutions head Stephen Lovell.
The transaction is the latest in a growing partnership, with Standard Bank having supported CCBA in numerous transactions across the African continent.