Nairobi Bottlers Limited, Coca-Cola’s leading local independent bottling franchise, has invested Shs1.2billion in a new preform manufacturing plant as the demand for plastic bottled products increases. 
The new state of the art facility will enable the company to produce preforms used in the manufacture of plastic bottles for packaging of Coca-Cola range of soft drinks and Dasani water. Previously, Nairobi Bottlers has been sourcing these raw materials from independent suppliers in the country. The huge investment is part of Nairobi Bottlers’ growth strategy as it strives to take advantage of emerging opportunities both locally and in the export markets within the region. The new facility takes the total investment by the company alone to over Shs3billlion within a year.

Speaking during the commissioning of the preform plant situated along Nairobi’s Kangundo Road, Nairobi Bottlers Managing Director Patrick Pech said the setting up of the facility was informed by the growing demand for plastic bottled products which meant spending huge sums of money sourcing for preforms to make the plastic bottles.
The new facility is expected to help the company save millions of shillings it has been spending on buying preforms from independent suppliers. Pech noted that the funds saved will be redirected towards Nairobi Bottlers’ business expansion programs.

“Looking at the projected growth of our business and need to expand our business to better meet consumer needs, we made a decision to invest aggressively including setting up a PET line last year and now this facility. That decision today presents us with the opportunity to grow our business year on year and at the same time help meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for Coca-Cola brands,” he said.
The two preform manufacturing machines installed at the plant have the capacity to produce over 0.9 million pieces of preforms per day, which will be able to meet the demand both locally and for the export market
The company is looking to export the preforms initially to the East African Community (EAC) markets starting with Uganda and Tanzania and later Ethiopia and Mozambique.  According to the company, there is growing demand for plastic compared to glass which currently controls 70 percent of the packaging.

Last year, the company invested Shs1.26 billion in a PET (plastics) manufacturing line in Embakasi, Nairobi and is looking to double the investment within the next two years in order to keep pace with the expanding market. The PET line produces 28,000 bottles per hour, more than doubling Nairobi Bottlers capacity to 12 million physical cases annually.

The introduction of the new facility is also expected to create employment directly at the plant and indirectly through the value chain of collectors and transporters.