Crown invests in China to keep up with ‘rapid’ growth

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment, Guangdong, China

Global packaging giant Crown is responding to “rapid” growth in China by building two new beverage can plants in the region.

"Adding facilities in Zhengzhou and Changchun demonstrates Crown's commitment to support our customers' growth in this critical market. The plants are also a testament to the increasing popularity of beverage cans in the region,"​ said Jozef Salaerts, president of Crown Asia-Pacific.

The firm’s new Zhengzhou plant in Central China will serve surrounding provinces, producing 33cl cans.

The Changchun plant, located in Northeastern China, will produce 33cl and 50cl cans.

Each plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 720m two-piece aluminum beverage cans and are expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2013.

Second line

Crown is also adding a second line to its Putian-based facility in the Fujian Province.

The new line will produce 33cl and slim 25cl aluminum beverage cans and is also expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2013.

This expansion will bring annual production capacity at the Putian facility up to 1.4bn beverage cans when fully commercialised, according to Crown.

Once construction is complete, the firm will have ten beverage can plants in China.

The company currently has operations in Beijing, Foshan, Huizhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai, and construction on plants in Putian, Heshan and Ziyang is underway.

Coca-Cola investment

This month, The Coca-Cola Co (TCCC) and its Chinese bottling partners Swire Beverages also announced that they were investing further in the country.

TCCC is injecting US$4bn into the region in a bid to double revenues in China.

By the end of the three-year period, which starts next year, the firms will have invested US$7bn in the country between 2009 and 2014.

TCCC spokesperson told BeverageDaily.com that China was the firm’s largest, fastest-growing consumer market in the world.

China's economy is predicted to exceed the US in 2016, said Euromonitor analyst Hope Lee.

“Given the US's severe national debt and a looming second dip in its economy, China may well become the world's biggest economy earlier than predicted,”​ said Lee.

Related topics: Markets, Beverages

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