National Food Products Company (NFPC) said it is currently building a 120,000m2 plant for its three beverage-focused divisions, including a 45,000m2 facility for Oasis five-gallon water bottles, with a capacity of 12,000 bottles an hour. Oasis will also have a retail bottling plant, producing 1.5l, 0.5l and 0.33l bottles, with a capacity of 72,000 units an hour.
“The start of construction of the mega facility at Kizad is a key milestone in developing our operational capabilities to enable a new paradigm of growth for our market leading brands in the food and beverage sector,” said NFPC key partner, president and CEO Fady Antonios.
Along with the production facilities, set to begin operations in the first quarter of 2018, the first phase will include 10,000m2 of office space and a 2,800m2 district cooling plant. The facility will also include solar panels to generate hot water and thermal energy.
NFPC said the second phase of the project, set to cover 150,000m2, would be a fully-automated packaging factory, and a cold store facility with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes.
“By hosting NFPC as our anchor tenant, Kizad’s food cluster will significantly contribute towards the efforts to meet the growing food demand in the GCC, especially in the UAE. NFPC’s ambitious expansion plans are timely as the food consumption in the GCC is expected to grow at a 3.5% CAGR between 2014 and 2019 to reach 51.9 million tonnes,” said Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, operator of Kizad.
“Kizad’s food cluster along with Khalifa Port’s multimodal connectivity is fully equipped to support the UAE’s efforts to increase food production to meet this growing demand,” he added.
NFPC sale goes quiet
NFPC put itself up for sale last year, with up to 51% of the firm potentially available for purchase. The deadline for potential bidders passed in January, with no news of any confirmed offers – but Saudi food giant Almarai was rumoured to be considering a bid of up to US$1.5bn.
Kizad – or the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi – is attached to Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi’s flagship port project, located near the border with Dubai. It has made food and food production a major part of its proposition, with confirmed tenants including Brazilian firm BRF, Spinneys and Al Dahra Kohinoor.
NFPC first announced its Kizad plant in the first quarter of 2014, in a US$408m deal.