Tetra Pak to invest R500 million in KZN plant

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 KZN Economic Development and Tourism MEC Ravi Pillay, Tetra Pak Southern Africa managing director Stefan Fagerang,  Premier Sihle Zikalala and Tetra Pak factory director Waqas Ali at the company’s Pinetown factory this week. Photo: Tetra Pak
KZN Economic Development and Tourism MEC Ravi Pillay, Tetra Pak Southern Africa managing director Stefan Fagerang, Premier Sihle Zikalala and Tetra Pak factory director Waqas Ali at the company’s Pinetown factory this week. Photo: Tetra Pak

Food packager and processor Tetra Pak South Africa is investing R500 million in its plant in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

The Sweden-headquartered firm said on Monday that the investment will go towards upgrading and increasing the plant’s capabilities. The upgrade will be done over "several years" from the first quarter of 2022. 

Tetra Pak provides processing and packaging for products like ice cream, cheese, pet food and fruit and vegetables, as well as packaging equipment for liquid food products.

Tetra Pak said the Pinetown factory would be its Southern African hub and would create several indirect and direct jobs in the region. The company added that the new packaging technology to be used at its plant would use less energy and water processing, resulting in lower carbon dioxide emissions. It will also use alternative green sources of energy.

The group aims to be carbon neutral at all its global operations by 2030 and has set its sights on having the world’s most sustainable packaging made from renewable materials.

"While the investment is primarily a business decision, it cannot be ignored that it also represents a timeous morale booster in the KwaZulu-Natal province and in South Africa. In addition to benefiting our customers, upgrading our Pinetown plant presents numerous possibilities for the communities around us," said Stefan Fageräng, Managing Director of Tetra Pak South Africa.

He added that the investment will also bring Tetra Pak closer to using sugarcane as raw material for locally produced bio-based plastic material.

The Monday announcement was attended by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala; MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment, Ravi Pillay; and the Chief Whip of eThekwini Municipality, Sibongiseni Mkhize.

In the group’s statement, Zikalala said: "This investment is a vote of confidence by the Tetra Pak group in the resilience and resurgence of the economy of KwaZulu-Natal following the Covid-19 pandemic and related socio-economic challenges."

Waqas Ali, Factory Director at Tetra Pak South Africa’s Pinetown facility, said the upgrade would enable the company to increase its local content to 80% and speed up deliveries to clients.

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