With an estimated investment of CNY620 million, Coca-Cola has begun building its new plant in the Heilongjiang province city of Harbin.
This project is reportedly part of Coca-Cola's USD4 billion Chinese investment planning between 2012 and 2014.
At present, Coca-Cola has four bottling partners in China and the newly established plant will be operated by Coca-Cola Bottling Investment Group China. Founded in 2006, BIG China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola. It is responsible for the production, packaging, and sales of 13 bottling factories in ten provinces and cities, including Shanghai and Liaoning.
Yang Tenghua, president for BIG China and Southeast Asia, said that China has become the third largest market for Coca-Cola and it is important for the business development of the company. Meanwhile, it is the focus of BIG in Asia region.
Coca-Cola returned to the Chinese market in 1979 and by the end of 2014, the company's total investments in China will be over USD9 billion. So far, Coca-Cola has established 43 factories in China. The company's first factory in Heilongjiang started formal operation in 1994.
With the growth of demand, the company decided to build a new plant to expand production capacity. With the completion of the new plant, its annual production capacity is expected to reach over 1.2 million tons; and its first-phase project will be put into production in 2016.