FEMSA, Mexican economic group, through its business unit Coca-Cola FEMSA – the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world – has laid the foundation stone of its new bottling plant located in Tocancipá County, Cundinamarca. The plant will operate inside FEMSA Industrial Park, making way for the first non-alcoholic beverage cluster in the country.
In attendance were Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance and Public Credit, on behalf of Colombia’s President, Dr. Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, as well as top government officials and other major players in business, labor and academic sectors as well as members of international organizations and company staff.
During the ceremony, Coca-Cola FEMSA reinforced its commitment to Colombia by announcing the start of the construction on the new bottling plant, which will have an investment of USD$200 million and state-of-the-art design and technology and will be considered green since it will have the highest sustainability standards and Leed certification.
“By initiating the construction of the plant we reaffirm our commitment to participating in the development of the country, we ratify the bond of reciprocity which allows us to propel new investments that generate economic, social and environmental value for the Colombian people and we also recognize the economic prosperity, legal security and political stability that currently characterize Colombia as an increasingly more just and modern country,” stated José Antonio Fernández Carbajal, FEMSA’s Chairman and CEO.
The new plant joins the installed capacity of the production centers located in Bogotá, Medellín, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, Cali and La Calera, and will allow Coca-Cola FEMSA to respond to the growth in demand expected from the implementation of new market development strategies. The 150 direct jobs that will be created by the new plant during its first operating stage will add to the additional jobs that the other companies soon to be established at the beverage cluster will generate and to over 7 thousand five hundred direct and indirect jobs currently offered by the company.
FEMSA says the plant will be built with strict adherence to the guidelines set by the National Government regarding the creation of formal, stable and fairly paid employment; the respect for the environment, the usage of state-of-the-art technology and the development and well-being of the communities. At the beginning of its operation, the plant will have an installed capacity for 50 million unit cases – which translate into 290 million liters – and anticipates an additional investment of USD$1 million for social and community programs.
FEMSA Industrial Park will have an approximate size of 67 acres wherein the industrial users of goods and services forming the non-alcoholic beverage cluster will be located. The construction of the plant began in August 2013 and its schedule foresees its conclusion by the end of 2014.
The beverage cluster has been designed to have the presence of the diverse activities of the production chain of non-alcoholic beverages. Following this order of ideas, activities related to the production and bottling tasks may be added to the beverage production plant, an action that will consolidate it as one of the largest and most advanced non-alcoholic beverage clusters in the region.