Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda) has officially commissioned a brand new US$10million (Shs38 billion) manufacturing Line to enable them bottle more Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water.
The new bottling line at the Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda) Namanve site operated by Century Bottling Company has a capacity of producing 24,000 bottles an hour, accelerating the production of Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water to refresh and hydrate Ugandans.
TheUSD10million (UGX38billion) investment brings to Uganda the newest bottling line technology out of Germany, by KHSenabling the Company to innovate further for the increasingly changing consumer demands.
The investment was part of a US$15 Million investment plan that Coca-Cola Beverages Africa hadfor Uganda alone in 2018.
This is one of the fastest projects ever of this nature. The Minister of State for Investment and Privatisation, Hon. Evelyn Anite, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremonyon 20th April 2018 and by December 2018, the line installation was complete.
Representing the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the launch event, Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives lauded Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for focusing on Uganda and investing US$10million within Uganda to benefit citizens and support the economy.
“Of this, I am told US$3.5million was spent inside Uganda on civil works, construction and auxiliary services. That is a very significant amount for many reasons. First of all, that means that the bulk of the investment that we are commissioning todaywas spent inside our own country and directly benefited Ugandans. This fits well within our Buy Uganda, Build Uganda policy and I applaud you for that. Also, your investment in a new Manufacturing Line creates more jobs for very many categories of Ugandans – which fulfills the NRM pledge to create more jobs and wealth especially for the youth of Uganda,” she said.
“As Government, we acknowledge and thank Coca-Cola for being a development partner of Uganda. On top of these investments, you also pay taxes – I understand you paid UGX140billion in taxes last year. This is a very significant amount and we look forward to seeing it increase once this new investment begins to bear results. During the tour of the facility, it was gratifying to see the quality of your equipment and to note that you have two other bottling facilities in Uganda, and that you are still setting up more. By bottling high quality international brands in Uganda, you are promoting the economy within Uganda and also promoting the country internationally,” Hon. Kyambadde added.
The CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Jacques Vermeulen assured the Minister of the investment commitments of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (Uganda), which runs three subsidiaries bottling Coca-Cola products (Century Bottling Company), pure natural mineral water (Rwenzori Bottling Company) and recycling plastic waste taken from the environment (Plastic Recycling Industries).
“We employ about 1,900 Ugandans in our three plants in Kampala, Mukono and Mbarara, and support more than 100,000 businesses across our extensive retail distribution network. Coca-Cola Beverages Africa is proud to make these contributions on top of paying taxes to the tune of more than UGX140billion annually. We are serious about doing business in Uganda and supporting this economy,” Mr. Vermeulen said.
He added that the investment in the brand new US$10million Manufacturing Line was a strong demonstration of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Uganda`s commitment to the development of Uganda despite the tough economic conditions. It is important to note that this investment was made on a promise to reduce excise duty from 13% to 12% in the 2018/19 FY and gradual decrease per year until 10%. “We are grateful that this happened last year. Unfortunately, the reduction from 12% to 11% in the 2019/ 2020 FY has been rejected by Parliament. This investment is confirmation that a favorable tax regime can attract more investment for the industry,” he added.