Nestle rolls out US$8 million milk powders plant
FOOD giant, Nestle Zimbabwe has commissioned the refurbished US$8 million Cremora and milk powders production plant at its Southerton factory in the capital.
The funds to upgrade the Egron, which is a milk powders (Nido and Everyday) and Cremora plant, were provided by its Swiss based parent company.
While the old line of milk powder produced 900 kilograms per hour(kg/hr), capacity will now increase by about 67 percent to 1 500kg/hr.
Capacity for Cremora powder is also expected to increase by 77 percent to 1 600 kg/hr from 900 kg/hr.
Nestle South Cluster manager for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, Ben Ndiaye said: “Today, we are witnessing the commissioning of the recently refurbished and upgraded Egron milk powders and Cremora plant, which will improve environmental safety standards and production capacity.
The Egron capital expenditure was US$8 million.”
Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha, who was guest of honour at the commissioning of the plant lauded Nestle Zimbabwe.
“The expansion in the milk powders and Cremora manufacturing lines comes at a time when many Zimbabwean companies are struggling or closing shop mostly because of lack of capitalisation,” said Bimha.
“Nestle Zimbabwe’s resilience in a difficult environment is a positive story and is a testimony to other potential investors that Zimbabwe is a safe destination for investment. Such commitments can only be achieved through collective and concerted efforts between the government and the private sector.
“Lack of investments in new machinery and plants has been identified as one of the major factors inhibiting competitiveness in the sector. This is the reason why we are excited by the magnitude of this investment made by Nestle Zimbabwe.”
Nestle has been in Zimbabwe for over 56 years, positively contributing to the economic growth and employment creation in the country.
It currently employs about 200 permanent employees.
Since 2011, Nestle has invested close to US$30 million in the refurbishment and upgrading of the cereals and Milo plants and equipment to increase production capacities, efficiencies and introduction of new products and technology.
The company has also invested in two mega silos for storage of raw materials, facilitating consistent Cremora production and a new administration block and quality assurance laboratory was built.
The company has also installed an underground water tank to increase water storage by more than five times.
The spending demonstrates the company’s commitment to pursuing projects expected to provide profitable, long-term growth for shareholders.
Nestle Zimbabwe also launched a US$14 million dairy empowerment scheme in December 2011 whose main objective is to rebuild the dairy industry in Zimbabwe.
Two thousand dairy cows for large scale commercial farmers and 2000 dairy cows for the small scale farmers are being imported to support this scheme, which will run for the next five years.
The milk from the small scale farm will be delivered to the Nestle factory for processing in the Egron tower. FinX