Pepsi Cola invests P500M for Oro expansion, improvement

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Thursday, February 16, 2012


PEPSI Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) gives additional muscle to its Cagayan de Oro City plant with the latest investment of P500 million for expansion and improvements of its operations in the city.

Jude Salvaña, PCPPI’s human resources manager for Cagayan de Oro plant, said this aimed at reaching out to the Northern Mindanao region and other provinces in the far south.

In a statement, Virgilio Salvador, general manager for CDO operations, said the multi-million-peso investment in what is known as the “City of Golden Friendship,” demonstrates the company’s confidence in the region’s potential as a good product market.

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The Oro plant began operations in 1967 and has expanded since, servicing more than 25,000 outlets across Mindanao. It covers the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, the two Lanaos, Zamboanga del Sur, the Agusan provinces, the two Surigaos on the eastern seaboard and Dinagat.

Salvaña said the state-of-the-art bottling line is capable of manufacturing both carbonated and non-carbonated Pepsi beverages in Cagayan de Oro, noted for its accessibility, business growth and tourism potential, and the nearby provinces.

Pepsi carbonated beverages include Pepsi-Cola, Mirinda, 7Up, Mug Root Beer and Mountain Dew; non-carbonated beverages are Gatorade, Lipton Iced Tea, Tropicana, Sting and Premier water.

PCPPI president Partha Chakrabarti, in a press statement, said it was necessary to install a new line to provide additional capacity for the expanding market in the regions and take the lead in increasing the availability of non-carbonated beverages in what heretofore was described as the “Land of Promise.”

The strategic location of Cagayan de Oro, dubbed “Gateway to Northern Mindanao” with a broad consumer and manpower base, will give the company faster time in delivering additional products to the Davao area and the Zamboanga peninsula, the soft-spoken Salvaña said in a meeting with reporters Wednesday in Cagayan de Oro.

The improvements in the new line, he added, are expected to bring cover automated palletizing and de-palletizing machine, automation, soft packing and de-casing of glass bottles, on line case washing, flexibility and capability to produce non-carbonated beverage, automated clean in place system for internal sanitation, better infrastructure as well as properly ventilated and clean room areas.

With the new line, PCPPI officials are hopeful the production target will increase by nearly 80 percent, Salvaña said.

He said CDO expansion jibes with Chakrabarti’s statement that the company will continue to push its products forward to the discriminating consumers.

Earlier, Salvaña added, the PCPPI executive has announced that the company has set aside $75 million as capital expenditure in 2012 to put up bottling lines, expand and accelerate product distribution and establish the company’s presence in more stores and outlets. Part of the expansion, he said, is the decision to launch new products this year such as Milkis carbonated milk and a brand of coconut water.

The Oro business hub will be complemented by a new bottling line in Zamboanga City that will also start operation within the year, Salvaña claimed.

While PCPPI officials feel challenged by the expanding market, they are similarly excited by the fact that its CDO operations has – despite automation – generated direct and indirect employment for more than 1,000 people, with roughly 6,000 immediate members of their families depending on them, Salvaña added.

Meanwhile, as part of its corporate responsibility, the PCCPI recently has extended immediate help to victims of Tropical Storm Sendong by opening its CDO water facilities and donating the company’s bottled water brand, Premier, to tens of thousands of evacuees.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 17, 2012.

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