The Prime Minister Visits the New Coca-Cola Bottling Facility
the prime minister visits the new coca-cola bottling facility
23 October 2009
On Friday, 23rd October 2009, The Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, visited The General Soft Drinks Co Ltd, one of the major players in the local beverages market.
Photo: Courtesy - Saviour Cassar, DOI
With a total investment of 27 million Euros, The General Soft Drinks, relocated its bottling facility from its Qormi premises to the new state-of-art bottling facility in Marsa Industrial Estate. The General Soft Drinks employs 260 employees in the Operations, Human Resources, Finance, Sales and Distribution departments.
The Prime Minister was greeted by Mr. Brian Mizzi, Managing Director and Ms. Maria Micallef, General Manager of The General Soft Drinks Co. Ltd.
The visit commenced with a tour of the production hall where the Prime Minister was shown the process through which GSD products are filled, labelled and palletised. This was followed by a visit to the warehouse where products are stacked and stored before being dispatched.
The General Soft Drinks Company Ltd. operates in a highly competitive beverage market and directly manages relationships with all its customers, reaching all points of sale, covering home deliveries and deliveries to small stores, supermarkets, hotels, bars and restaurants.
The footprint of the facility covers 21,000 square metres out of a 33,000 square metre site. This facility was one of the fastest concrete structures to be erected in Malta which was a key factor that led to the completion of the project within a period of 24 months.
The design incorporates energy-saving measures including utilisation of natural light, building insulation and waste water minimisation processes. The facility’s energy usage is monitored through a Building Management System which controls the air conditioning, ventilation and lighting. The system ensures that all utilities are used efficiently and effectively. In fact the facility’s design was awarded a “best practice” by The Coca-Cola system and its design elements have been shared with other bottlers around the world.
The facility is made up of four major blocks, including the Administration, Stores, Production, and the Warehousing block, with a ring-road surrounding the whole area.
The administration block houses modern offices which have been designed in such a way that maximises space and enhances the day-to-day working environment of the employees.
The stores are located below the production hall and house all the raw materials. This set up allows easy and efficient transport of materials from the store to the production hall. The main production hall incorporates two PET production lines where the Coca-Cola range of products is produced. One production line is dedicated to the bottling and packaging of carbonated soft drinks with a total capacity of 24,000 litres per hour. The other production line is utilized for the bottling of the Kristal Table Water range, with a total capacity of 18,000 litres per hour. This line also has the capability of bottling carbonated soft drinks in one way glass. A secondary production hall houses a Kegging line where kegs are filled to be dispensed in draft systems in retail outlets.
In order to make sure that the beverages are filled in a clean environment, the air in the filling area is circulated 15 times every hour, resulting in an air change of 90,000 cubic meters per hour.
The Finished Goods Warehouse is 18 meters high, covers an area of 4,500 square metres and has beams spanning 35 metres and weighing up to 62 tonnes. All products are stored on racking 7 pallets high, having a total capacity of 7,200 pallets. The flooring is super flat and durable which is required for the use of Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) Fork Lift Trucks where the operator elevates with the load, for increased visibility.
Like most Coca-Cola plants around the world, the facility has an in-built viewing gallery that takes visitors on an audio-visual journey throughout the operation, thus permitting them to view what it takes to produce a bottle of Coca-Cola, from the bottle-blowing process to the final warehousing.
Following the plant tour, The Prime Minister and his entourage were led to the conference room where a speech was given by Mr. Brian Mizzi.
On behalf of the management of The General Soft Drinks, the Board of Directors of Mizzi Organisation and the Mizzi family, Mr. Mizzi thanked the Prime Minister and his team for taking the time to visit the new plant.
He added “With a total investment of 27 million euros this was one of the largest commercial investments made by the Mizzi family. In fact the General Soft Drinks Co Ltd is now one of the leading pillars of the Mizzi Organisation on which other business models are being developed in order to take the Group forward in the 21st century. I’m also proud to say that the project was completed within 24 months of the Board’s approval and its design was recognised by The Coca-Cola Company as attaining best practices in the Coca-Cola system.”
Mr Mizzi also stressed the importance that was placed on Health and Safety and Environment issues and noted that The General Soft Drinks Co Ltd is certified in a number of Quality certifications including: ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems certification), ISO 14001 (Environment Management System Certification) and OH SAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Management system Certification).
Mr Mizzi’s speech was followed by an address by the Honourable Prime Minister who showed his appreciation and acknowledgment to the valuable contribution that the Mizzi Organisation and The General Soft Drinks Co Ltd provides to the local Economy.
Present during the visit, were also the Board of Directors of Mizzi Organisation including Chev. Maurice Mizzi, Mr. Kenneth Mizzi, Ms. Veronique Mizzi, Mr. Ian Mizzi, Dr. John C. Grech and Mr. Hugh Mercieca as well as members of the Management team of The General Soft Drinks Co Ltd.