Coca-Cola announces £13m (US$21m) investment in new can line at largest soft drinks factory in Europe

20/10/2009

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) today celebrates the 20th Anniversary of its Wakefield plant, the largest soft drinks manufacturing site in Europe. CCE is also announcing plans to invest £13m in a new can line at Wakefield which will increase production by an additional 2,000 cans every minute.

The site at Wakefield opened in 1989 as part of an original investment of £90m. Over the past 20 years, a further investment of £150m means the factory now produces over a million cans of product every day.  The new production line will increase the site’s capacity from over 66 cans per second to over 100 cans per second.

Over the years the site has established itself as a leader in sustainable development and to mark its 20th birthday, the site’s new pre-form area will be opened by local MP, the Rt Hon Ed Balls. The new area is the result of a £6m investment which will allow the factory to produce its own pre-forms, which are then blown into PET bottles, helping to cut production costs and carbon emissions by reducing delivery miles by 135,000 every year.

Over the past twenty years the factory has built a track record of mile-stone environmental achievements, including introducing sustainable packaging across its product range, working with Rexam to have cans supplied from a factory right next door in order to reduce transportation, and now sending zero waste to landfill.

The site is also one of Wakefield’s largest employers, providing over 500 jobs to the local community. Many employees have been at the site since its inception and a number of couples and families work together in different areas of the Coca-Cola team at Wakefield.

With an area size the equivalent of 25 football pitches housing a total of nine production lines, the Wakefield Coca-Cola site is the largest in Europe. Since it commenced production in 1989 the factory has introduced five additional PET lines, one of which has the largest carbonated filler in Europe producing 1,000 litres of product per minute. Wakefield now produces over 100 million cases of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Schweppes every year.

Stephen Moorhouse, Coca-Cola Enterprises Vice President & General Manager for European Supply Chain says: “We are immensely proud of the achievements at our site in Wakefield. Wakefield is our largest factory in Great Britain but is the most energy efficient in terms of energy used for every 1000 litres of soft drinks it makes, and is the first to house its own pre-form area. This will help remove transportation from the UK’s roads - reducing carbon emissions – and enable the site to work even more efficiently.”

Simon Baldry, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd adds, “Wakefield’s development as the largest soft drinks factory in Europe is a fantastic achievement. As well as being a real ‘community’ for local people, we have also built a track record of sustainable development at the factory – including zero landfill for example. We’re announcing a £13m investment in the new production line at Wakefield and we’ll continue to lead the drive for new ways to improve the environmental impact of the site.”

Ian Johnson, Operations Director at Wakefield says, ”There are three things which keep Wakefield at the leading edge of our industry – the highly skilled and committed workforce, the technology and high levels of automation at the site and the support and investment from CCE. I am very proud to have been here from the beginning, to have seen the site grow and to have worked with so many motivated people.”

Key achievements at the Wakefield site since 1989 include:

  • Introduction of Energy Monitoring and Targeting, allowing the site to identify potential energy-saving opportunities
  • Zero waste to landfill since 2008
  • Achieving one of the best water usage ratios in The Coca-Cola System worldwide
  • Opening the Education centre in 2002, which has seen over 35,000 students visit the site to engage in work-related learning and enterprise initiatives

Fast Facts:

  • Since 1989 CCE has invested over £150 million to make Wakefield one of the fastest producers of soft drinks in the world
  • Every minute the site can make 4000 cans of soft drinks on two existing can lines – and 3,200 PET bottles of soft drinks on seven PET lines
  • Wakefield has the largest carbonated filler in Europe – producing 1000 litres every minute
  • The site has the fastest 2-litre line in the world – producing 30,000 2 litre bottles every hour
  • Wakefield moves around 6000 pallets of soft drinks every 12 hours

For further information and comment, please contact Kate Ward or Emma Mercer at 3 Monkeys Communications on cocacolaenterprises@3-monkeys.co.uk / 020 7009 3131.

*Carbon emissions reduced by 2,200 tonnes from light-weighting 330ml glass bottles
 

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