Nampak Bevcan’s $160 million beverage can factory (known as Angolata) in the Viana Industrial Zone in Angola’s capital, Luanda, is complete. The official opening took place at end-June 2011.
This is Bevcan’s first operation in Angola – an increasingly important market for the company. The first beverage can production line will have a capacity of 750 million 330ml cans per year; in the future, this is likely to be doubled by the installation of a second production line.
Nampak chairman, Tito Mboweni, said of the factory’s opening: “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.”
Erik Smuts, Bevcan’s MD, explained that there are significant benefits to producing cans in Angola, including job creation, upliftment of skills and state-of-the-art production processes. Local production will also reduce the number of cans that need to be imported for a growing beverage can market. “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 3-6 months to 1-2 weeks, ending their headaches in managing the supply chain, and decreasing their working capital costs in raw material stockholdings, storage and damage to containers,” said Smuts.
Angola is the fastest-growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
According to Bevcan, the Angolan market currently consumes around one billion cans per year. “We want to use the Angolata factory to secure Bevcan’s current market of over 600 million cans per year, 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,” added Smuts.
Bevcan has also established Reclatas, its Angolan recycling operation, as a legal entity in Angola. Smuts said this was done even before building the Angolata plant. “Reclatas is a partnership between Bevcan and its customers which will recycle scrap from the can-making process, as well as collect used beverage cans from the consumer market. We are committed to recycling – I think our Collect-a-Can operations in South Africa are testament to that.”
Smuts also stressed that the beverage can’s position in Angola, and indeed the whole of Africa, is a strong one. “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,” he stated.