LAHORE (PR): In Pakistan, according to various sources, sales of soft drinks were around three billion litres, which is forecasted to increase from 17 litres to 20 litres per capita by end of this decade. Major players in the beverage industry are gearing up to increase the production capacities with three large confirmed projects this year to cater for these demands.

A wide range of beverage cans (250ml, 300 ml and 330ml) is being filled in Pakistan. Currently, these are imported into Pakistan and despite the current suppliers’ best efforts, based on research, users are experiencing delays and hidden costs found with importing goods. Even with this constrained situation, the beverage can market has still shown a healthy growth of 10% per year.

Against this background and as a result of a period of deep research, Pakistan Aluminium Beverage Cans Limited (PABC) was formed late last year to build the first aluminium beverage can plant in Pakistan with an investment of USD 75 million. The project is moving ahead, although it had its fair share of pitfalls and excitements often seen in emerging markets. The business has received support and encouragement from many departments of the Government of Pakistan and customers. The finance for the project has been raised from a local bank, foreign investment company (Ashmore Group-UK) and shareholders.

PABC’s pioneering plant will be just outside Islamabad and will be well placed to serve the local and export to neighbouring markets. Roeslein are the chosen integrator and they will build & install this state of the art high speed line. This will have, when fully developed, the capacity to manufacture 1.2 billion cans.

The official ground breaking ceremony is planned for August with the plant being scheduled for commissioning in the second half of 2016. This plant will be meeting the underlying consumers’ preference for beverage cans as a premium container and customers’ need for a cost effective & robust Supply Chain.