Ardagh Glass Packaging – Africa (AGP – Africa), the African business unit of Ardagh Group, has announced an investment to increase the capacity of its Nigel production facility in Gauteng, South Africa.

The company will add a third furnace to the facility to help it provide sustainable glass packaging to meet expected demand over the next few years.

In line with AGP – Africa’s efforts to decarbonise the glass production process and reduce emissions, the new furnace is expected to offer significant energy, water efficiency and environmental benefits.

In addition, the investment aims to strengthen the government’s economic recovery plans in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, by creating jobs and offering increased ancillary supply chain benefits.

The investment is in line with Ardagh’s commitment to investing in the growth of South Africa’s glass industry.

Expected to be commissioned next year, the expanded facility will make use of Ardagh Group’s technical capabilities and global sourcing.

Ardagh said the facility will be Africa’s largest glass container production facility once completed.

The investment comes after AGP – Africa commissioned a ZAR1.5bn ($95m) extension of its Nigel production facility in July this year.

The expansion will more than double the plant’s production capacity to meet both customers’ current demands and estimated demand growth.

It will add a furnace and production lines to the facility, as well as improve its energy and water efficiency.

At the time of commissioning, Ardagh Group chairman and CEO Paul Coulson said: “Demand for sustainable packaging in Africa is growing strongly, supported by multiple factors, including rising income levels, growing sustainability awareness, favourable demographics and a shift to one-way packaging.

“We are committed to investing in our people and our asset base to enable us to serve this strong demand growth over the near term.”

A subsidiary of Ardagh Group, AGP – Africa supplies sustainable glass packaging to companies across South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia.