Joint venture partners Owens-Illinois, Inc. (O-I), Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) and Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Company (SABECO) have opened Vietnam’s latest glass container manufacturing plant, southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province.
The companies say, the US$47m factory will initially produce approximately 75,000 tonnes annually of mainly returnable premium glass containers for Vietnam’s beer, soft drink, food, wine, spirits and pharmaceutical markets. However, the new plant has the capacity to adapt to market trends, extending to four lines with a production capacity of 84,000 tonnes of glass annually.
The facility has one furnace, three glass-making lines and two applied ceramic labelling printing lines and employs nearly 450 people, mainly from the Ba Ria region, using natural gas for improved sustainability. It replaces an existing facility, recently vacated by O-I BJC to facilitate the Ho Chi Minh City’s urban development plans.
Al Stroucken, chief executive and chairman of O-I says that BJC had become Vietnam’s leading glass container manufacturer, supplying most of the country’s local and global food and beverage companies. He says, “Vietnam is experiencing strong economic growth, which clearly provides opportunity for the glass industry. We know that beer is packaged primarily in glass here, and we know that consumers are looking for quality, taste and purity of contents. Our high quality and versatile glass containers are the perfect packaging solution.
“Glass is the most economical and sustainable packaging available, especially when using returnable containers, so it is vital that we have operations in place as the markets in this region grow and mature. This new plant allows us to meet and exceed the high expectations of current and future customers in this region.”
Aswin Techajareonvikul, president of BJC, says BJC focused on regional expansion in South East Asia, particularly Indochina and Malaysia. He says, “The opening of our latest facility will further strengthen our foothold in Vietnam where we have established trading and manufacturing operations in industrial and consumer products.
“Together with our TGI glass plants, the joint venture will make BJC and O-I BJC the largest producer of glass containers in South East Asia. It also is another major milestone in expanding BJC's operations in the region.
“We are delighted that this latest facility will further strengthen our collaboration with our long term partners – O-I and Sabeco. BJC and O-I have a history of successful collaboration for 60 years, starting in Thailand, and expanding to the Indochina region. With Sabeco, we also have established a good relationship for almost 10 years.”
Nguyen Ba Thi, chair of the Sabeco board of directors, says Vietnam is one of the fasting growing beer markets in the world. He says, “As Vietnam’s leading beer producer, Sabeco needs access to high quality premium glass packaging to support the demands of discerning Vietnamese consumers.
“With the opening of this new factory, we are assured of having the right partner to support our growth in the market as well as supplying growing demands for premium glass packaging to all categories in Vietnam.”