East Africa’s first aluminium can production unit to be set up in Kenya

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The plant will have a targeted production capacity of 1.2 billion pieces annually

A Nigerian-based Aluminium can manufacturer is planning to build a production unit in Kenya by 2015, a move that will help serve a rising demand for cans in the canned beverages market. GZ Industries’ (GZI) CEO, Mr. Motti Goldmintz, said Tuesday that the facility will be built on a 50 acre plot at Sultan Hamud, Kajiado.

With a targeted production capacity of 1.2 billion pieces annually, the project will cost the company US$100m but this calculation excludes expatriate staff’s salaries, payment for legal compliance and licensing, capital investments and training, among other expenses. This is according to Dan Kertes, the GZI’s Kenyan unit project manager. Construction of the structure alone will scoop Ksh.1.3bn from the budget.

During the ground breaking ceremony in Nairobi, the company also disclosed that the production unit will start operations by early 2015. GZ Industries Kenya Ltd will be a replicate of the Nigerian unit and will produce long, sleek cans mainly used for packing energy drinks.

Companies selling canned beverages and beer in Kenya see it as an opportunity to reduce production costs. For instance, EABL said it will utilize the cans to reduce losses incurred on glass bottle breakages during transportation of beer. According to Goldmintz, the production facility will be logistically located to serve the beer and beverage industry, amidst increasing interest for imported canned beer and soft drinks among buyers. Specifically, the company aims at taking advantage of the Kenya’s continuously growing demand for canned beverages in the last two years.

The company’s production unit, according to the CEO, will be strategic in Kenya, considering that Kenya aspires to become industrialized by 2030 according to the Vision 2030. Establishment of the unit will also play a key role in the expansion of the manufacturing sector in Kenya. East African Breweries Ltd, Coca-Cola and Sierra Beverage Company in Tanzania are part of its already-found customer base according to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report served to National Environment Authority (NEMA).

In addition to principally serving the Kenyan market, The Sultan Hamud based production unit will also generate exports and serve the market in other countries in the region, including Tanzania and Uganda. Other countries of interest include Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi.

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