TETRA Pak has announced a R500-million upgrade of its packaging material factory in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.
Factory Director Waqas Ali said the work would take place over several years, starting in the first quarter of 2022 and increase the production capability to the benefit of many sectors in the liquid food industry value chain.
“The upgrade will enable an increase to 80% in local content. This will not only assist the local supply chain but lead times for delivery to clients will also fall considerably – in some cases dramatically,” Ali said. “Clients will additionally benefit from far greater agile and responsive in our processes. With new state-of-the-art plant, should a customer need to respond to market changes, we will in future be able to deliver a quick turnaround.”
Stefan Fageräng (pictured), Managing Director of Tetra Pak South Africa said while the investment was primarily a business decision, “it cannot be ignored that it also represents a timeous morale booster in the KwaZulu-Natal province and in South Africa. In addition to benefiting our customers, upgrading our Pinetown plant presents numerous possibilities for the communities around us. This investment will have a positive impact on local farming communities, suppliers of raw material, and the services in the local community.”
Premier Sihle Zikalala hailed the investment as a vote of confidence in the resilience and resurgence of the economy of KwaZulu-Natal following the Covid-19 pandemic and “related socio-economic challenges”.
“Critically, this confirms Tetra Pak’s long-term commitment to KwaZulu-Natal, and it taps South Africa as a key manufacturing hub with the capacity in infrastructure and skills to serve all the Southern Africa markets. We welcome this injection of half a billion rand into our economy which will certainly foster economic growth and boost much-needed jobs in the province,” Zikalala said.
Fageräng said that globally, Tetra Pak intends to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has the ambition to launch the world’s most sustainable package made from renewable materials.
“By making this investment in South Africa we are making it possible to produce these breakthrough products locally and to ensure that they get recycled and reused, as part of the circular economy. It will also bring closer the possibility of using sugarcane as a raw material for biobased plastic material, which we hope will soon be locally produced.”