An opening ceremony was held in Liaoning province Thursday to inaugurate global beverage leader Coca-Cola's new bottling plant, its 42nd and largest production facility in China.
With an investment of one billion yuan (160 million U.S. dollars), Coca-Cola Liaoning (Central) Beverages Co. Ltd. covers an area of over 170,000 square meters in Yingkou city, said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, at the event.
Coca-Cola's third bottling plant in Liaoning, the new site should reach an annual production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes of sparkling and still drinks including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Minute Maid and Ice Dew upon completion, according to Kent.
It is expected to directly create 500 jobs and generate an additional 5,000 job opportunities in supporting industries, the CEO said.
The new plant is part of Coca-Cola plans to invest four billion U.S. dollars in China over three years and underscores the company's confidence in this fast-growing beverage market, he added. The plan will see Coca-Cola invest in nine production facilities, four of which are already in operation.
"China is a vast growth market for Coca-Cola. As we work to double the size of our global business in this decade, China will play a leading role," Kent told those gathered at the ceremony.
Since 1979, Coca-Cola has invested more than five billion U.S. dollars in the Chinese market, including three billion U.S. dollars from 2009 to 2011.