Unilever to invest €75 million in building capacity and capability in South Africa

Unilever to invest €75 million in building capacity and capability in South Africa

Unilever has announced that it will invest €75 million (1 billion Rand) in South Africa to expand its capacity with a new, state-of-the-art Home Care factory and to upgrade existing sites in Johannesburg and Durban. This investment will support Unilever’s ambition of doubling the size of its business while reducing its environmental impact and increasing its positive social impact.

Unilever’s South African business is important in enabling the company to deliver consistent sustainable and profitable growth and grew ahead of its market in 2012. The country offers significant opportunities for Unilever to strengthen and grow its business. The factory will produce homecare produce brands like Omo and Skip laundry detergents, Comfort fabric conditioner Domestos bleach and Sunlight washing up for the domestic market and is expected to become an export hub for several other African markets.

Pier Luigi Sigismondi, Chief Supply Chain Officer Unilever, said: “Unilever’s supply chain is central to the company’s delivery of consistent, sustainable and profitable growth. This investment is part of our industrial expansion plans and one of the thirty new factories being built by 2015. We will employ the latest technology to deliver the increased quality products our consumers demand whilst meeting the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan commitments.”

This development follows a €50 million (670 million Rand) Unilever investment just over a year ago to open another new factory near Durban producing renowned Savoury brands such as Knorr, Robertson’s, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah.

Marijn van Tiggelen, Unilever SA Chairman: “Today’s announcement is another example of our multi-year, multi-million investment plan to cater for our growth in South Africa. It will enable us to better serve consumers with innovation and green technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers. The €75 million project is one of Unilever’s largest investments globally and underscores our commitment to the long term future of South Africa and the continent as a whole. The development will deliver a low energy, environmentally efficient factory with zero waste to landfill.”

The factory will be built in Anderbolt, Boksburg, adjacent to Unilever’s main distribution centre in South Africa and production is expected to start in 2014. The factory will use efficient motors, drive mixers and air compressors, reducing energy requirement levels substantially and the application of smart water efficiency technology, enabling the recovery of 70% of all water used in production phases.

Anderbolt’s solid waste will be recycled to levels where nothing goes to landfill. A combined Heat and Powers system will be looked at to further optimise energy consumption.

Under the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) launched in 2010, we are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals are more than 50 time-based targets.

Unilever directly employs 2,700 people full time in South Africa. Head office is in Durban with manufacturing plants in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.

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