Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé has completed a €6m investment at its Pontecesures, Spain condensed milk plant in an effort to expand its product and packaging formats portfolio to meet export demands.
The investment, which has increased production at the plant by 50%, includes the construction of a new 9,000 square metre facility, housing new packaging machines, and the purchase of new equipment to aid in the production of new condensed milk recipes.
Almost half of the condensed milk products manufactured at the Pontecesures plant leave Spain - exported to countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
As a result of the investment, exports from the plant to these regions have increased by 12%.
Nestlé’s corporate spokesperson Philippe Aeschlimann told DairyReporter.com that the investment would meet increasing, mainly Europe-based demand for condensed milk products.
“Mainly the demand is coming from Europe, but we also cover exports to Asia and Africa. Not only emerging nations. The new destinations covered with these new packaging lines are France, the UK and Denmark,” said Aeschlimann.
Through the investment, capacity at the plant will remain at 50,000 tonnes, although the equipment investment will allow Nestlé to produce new formats to meet export needs.
The facility can now boast eight production lines – allowing it to manufacture condensed milk products in a variety of different formats.
“The investment includes a new sterilizer that will allow us to produce a new recipe of Dulce de Leche, a variety of standard condensed,” he said.
“It also includes a new building 9,000m2 housing two new packaging machines, allowing us to produce specific formats for export purposes (30g sachet and 73mm cans).”
“The aim is to make the factory the European production centre for condensed milk products and other milk derivatives, such as evaporated milk,” Aeschlimann said.
A total of 22 jobs have also been created by the investment.
“Every year Nestlé invests around €70m to €100m to keep our factories competitive and develop innovation and sustainability in the factories,” he added.
“This investment is part of our strategy to continually invest in our capacities.”
The Pontecesures plant investment is the third Nestlé has made in Spain in the last 18 months.
In November 2011, the firm invested €10m to produce different varieties of chocolate at its factory in La Penilla de Cayon. This followed a €53m investment to boost production at its Nescafe Dolce Gusto factory in Girona in March 2011.
According to Nestlé Spain, which recorded turnover of more than €2bn ($2.5bn) in 2011, the investments reflect its belief in Spanish operations despite the country’s challenging economic situation.