Arla Foods, a Denmark-based multinational cooperative has invested a total of $63 million to increase capacity as part of a long-term plan with Bahrain, since its acquisition of a manufacturing plant in Manama in 2019.
Announcing the acquisition of the production site in 2018, Arla Foods CEO, Mr. Peder Tuborgh had remarked the move as a ‘gamechanger for our MENA (Middle East and North Africa) businesses.’ It was the firm’s largest investment production site outside Europe.
Substantial plans to increase capacity began shortly after the plant was acquired from its former owner Mondelez International, and the site is now at its full potential.
Annual production increased from 20,000 tons to about 80,000, producing Puck and Kraft processed cheese and sterilized cream products, delivering 95 percent of the volume to the MENA region.
“We have a growing business in MENA and has as such clearly identified it as one of our core markets in our latest five year strategy, Future26. Bahrain and the site in Manama play a key role in our plans and it’s with great pleasure that we now see the site running at full capacity and delivering on its potential. A massive thank you to the team on the ground and the many partners involved in this project that made this possible.”
Site expansion drives local impact
With the increase in capacity, Arla Food has moved parts of its production to Bahrain with added benefits of improved product shelf-life, lower cost of transportation and product development from the on-site pilot plant. But the investment is not just for Arla Foods.
One of the main objectives of Arla foods is to make a positive contribution to local development, with its investment also creating over 200 direct jobs and approximately as many indirect jobs.
“This project is a great example of strong cooperation by everyone involved and working closely together with local partners, including Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism and the Economic Development Board has played an integral part in making it a reality. We are grateful for the welcoming nature of the Bahraini people and are excited about what the future brings for Arla Foods in Bahrain,” Mr. Tuborgh added.
Investing in a greener future
The Manama site’s latest update includes a $1.3 million investment in green energy with 8,000 square meters of solar cells, making it one of Bahrain’s largest solar power plants in Bahrain.
This renewable energy source has a capacity of 1.7 megawatts, producing approximately 20 percent of the site’s annual energy consumption, all while reducing the CO2e impact by 1,600 tons per year.
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