South Africa’s sole beverage can manufacturer Bevcan has been awarded a five-year, R5.6-billion contract to produce and supply lightweight aluminium cans for Coca-Cola’s portfolio of beverages.
Coca-Cola Canners of Southern Africa, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Southern Africa, expected to deliver its range of beverages in the new cans to the Gauteng market later this year and to the rest of the country during 2014.
Bevcan was in the process of replacing its production line of tin-plated steel beverage cans with aluminium-bodied cans – in line with global trends – with the first locally produced all-aluminium cans set to hit the market in mid-2013.
“Our infrastructure investment for this project includes the installation of a new high-speed line at one of our Gauteng plants, which is due for commissioning in May 2013,” Bevcan MD Erik Smuts said.
South Africa’s beverage cans, both soft drinks and beer cans, are currently produced with a steel body and aluminium can-ends and tabs.
Smuts previously told Engineering News Online that the Nampak subsidiary’s older production lines would gradually be phased out as it moved to eventually completely stop producing tin-plated steel cans.
Initially, about 70% of the beverage cans produced would be 100% aluminium.
“The new aluminium can is in line with best global practice and trends in packaging. It is also light and easy-to-carry and will appeal to today’s environmentally conscious consumer,” Coca-Cola Southern Africa president Therese Gearhart commented, adding that less fuel and energy would be required for transportation owing to the lightweight properties of aluminium cans.
JSE-listed Hulamin, which supplies the aluminium products for can-ends and tabs, last year signed a two-and-a-half-year aluminium sheeting supply deal with Bevcan.