Coca-Cola invests in high-speed canning capacity in the UK

A high-speed canning line is being added at the Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) plant at Wakefield in northern England, one of Europe’s largest soft-drinks facilities.

The new line will have capacity to fill 2,000 cans per minute when operational next year and is part of a £31 million (US$38m) programme of upgrades planned for the facility. CCEP cans beverages such as Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke and Fanta at the site and, as well as standard size cans, the new line will be able to handle the latest lightweight 330ml cans.

“We’re committed to developing our sites to keep at the forefront of innovation, ensuring we can continue to deliver drinks to our customers and to consumers in a sustainable way,” said Coca-Cola Europacific Partners director of supply chain operations Vanessa Smith.

CCEP said the line will have a number of sustainability features to reduce energy and water usage as well as lower carbon dioxide emissions, all of which will help the company meet its net-zero pledge for the Wakefield plant by 2040.

The features include air rinsing for the cans, dry lubrication on conveyors and an auto-sleep function on idle motors. 

Two years ago CCEP expanded the solar farm it uses to supply electricity to the site in Yorkshire, promising that it would use this renewable energy source to supply 20% of the power the facility requires.

CCEP said that since 2017, it has spent £118m on upgrading and expanding the facility, which is supplied with cans mostly from the adjacent canmaking plant operated by Ball Beverage Packaging UK.

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