Austrian packaging and recycling firm Alpla Group has opened an advanced production site in Lanseria, South Africa.

Located in the industrial area north of Johannesburg, the site features 35,000m² of covered production, administration and storage space.

It also has a further 12,500m² of space for future expansion, as well as 30,000m² of roof area equipped with solar panels.

The location merges and builds on ALPLA’s five previous plants in Harrismith, Denver, Isando, Kempton Park and Samrand.

It will serve as the company’s new headquarters for Sub-Saharan Africa.

ALPLA said that the new plant will manufacture bottles, closures and special packaging for various markets, including food, personal and home care, chemical, cleaning agents and pharmaceuticals.

The company manufactures products using injection and compression moulding, injection stretch blow moulding and extrusion blow moulding.

The new facility is said to comply with all international quality standards and will produce a total of 3.5 billion pieces a year.

ALPLA CEO Philipp Lehner said: “All of Sub-Saharan Africa is on the upswing; the markets have enormous potential.

“Our investment in South Africa is a clear commitment to the continent.

“In this way, we are increasing our competitiveness and guaranteeing the long-term regional supply of safe, affordable and sustainable packaging solutions.”

ALPLA opened the facility on 12 October following two years of construction and relocation.

The Lanseria plant integrates all ALPLA technologies, processes and materials, with the company’s first apprenticeship programme in Africa scheduled to begin early next year.

The site currently has around 350 employees, with this number expected to grow in the future.

ALPLA Sub-Saharan Africa managing director Mike Resnicek said: “Here in Lanseria, we concentrate our expertise, optimise production processes, use state-of-the-art equipment and create energy-efficient operations.

“The plant has one of the largest solar installations on a privately owned manufacturing building in South Africa.”