JIS News

Pepsi Cola (Jamaica) Limited says significant savings in operational costs have been realized since its investment of some $360 million worth of machinery and equipment at its Spanish Town Road plant last July.
In a recent interview, Regional Plant Manager of Pepsi Cola Limited, Alfred Campbell, said that since the acquisition of a CO2 plant, savings of some US$250,000 to US$300,000 per annum in terms of reduced cost had been realized. Prior to this, Mr. Campbell said the CO2 had to be imported at a cost of US$720,000 per year. He noted that the entity benefited from the Government’s modernization programme, under which duties on imported items to be used in the upgrading of the plant were waived. Using the CO2 plant, Pepsi Cola is now able to manufacture carbon dioxide, which is used in the brewing industry and to carbonate the soft drinks.
Mr. Campbell said despite having to employ an additional four persons to operate the plant its presence meant increased productivity and production had gone up some 25 to 30 per cent. In addition, Pepsi-Cola Jamaica Limited now supplies to IGL Limited, who were also importers. “We are actually a net supplier,” he pointed out.
Furthermore Mr. Campbell added: “The fact that we are able to produce means that we are self-sufficient, we are not subject to the vagaries of the import trade.”
Referring to plans to expend $174 million to build a syrup room, additional wells and a wastewater treatment plant, he said the entity has had to rethink its strategies as a result of the increase in operating costs because of the current tax measures and reduced consumption in the market place.
However, Mr. Campbell said that negotiations were now ongoing with the National Water Commission NWC, to contribute to the capital needed for its centralized waste treatment plant at Soapberry rather than build one on its own.
In terms of its 2002 partnership with the agricultural sector to supply produce for grapefruit and ginger based drinks, the Regional Plant Manager said dialogue had been ongoing with citrus growers. He said to date 60 per cent of the 5,000 seedlings that were offered had actually been taken up, “it’s a long term investment,” he added, stating that returns would be possible in the next five or so years.
The Regional Plant Manager divulged that further developments would see specialized products being made in Jamaica this year that would then be exported throughout the Caribbean. This, he said, would apply to water, non-carbonated and fruit-based products in the effort to “grow the market beyond Jamaica.”
Also as part of its “export drive” Pepsi Cola Jamaica Limited now supplies its Florida market from Jamaica, Mr. Campbell said export projections for this year had been doubled. Previously the entity had bottled under contract in Brooklyn to supply that market.

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