Fraser & Neave Holdings (F&NHB), the Malaysian subsidiary of Singapore-based food and beverage company Fraser and Neave (F&N), expanded its soft drinks facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia, in 2018.
F&N invested approximately S$180m ($61m) in the plant for adding a new state-of-the-art aseptic cold-filling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle line and a warehouse facility.
The company also expanded its Kuching, Sarawak facility with a new UHT line, with an investment of RM30m ($10m), increasing the company’s total investment in Malaysia to S$210m ($70m).
The addition of the PET bottle and the UHT lines enabled the company to meet the growing demand for its ready-to-drink tea, soya and Asian healthier range of soft drinks products.
Works on the Selangor facility expansion began in July 2016 and the cold-aseptic filling PET line was officially launched in 2018.
Purpose of the expansion
The investment was in line with F&NHB’s S$102m ($74.51m) two-year capital expenditure plan in the Malaysian market, which is one of the company’s key markets. To continue its position as one of the lowest-cost producers in the industry, the company expanded its product offering and packaging formats through investment.
Besides fuelling business growth in Malaysia, the new investment increased the company’s total asset value in the country to S$1.9bn ($473.9m).
F&N’s Shah Alam plant expansion details
The expansion includes a new 50,000-pallet integrated four-storey warehouse built on a 2.2-acre site within the existing soft drinks plant in Shah Alam, Selangor. The aseptic cold-filling PET bottle line was installed within the warehouse, which reduced PET resin packaging material by 40%, lowering the company’s carbon footprint and packaging expenses.
The PET line is a 600-bottle-per-minute water line and a combined blow, mould and filling equipment. The line is used to produce 100PLUS ACTIVE, OYOSHI, F&N SEASONS and F&N ICE MOUNTAIN Drinking Water product lines. The new line raised the plant’s manufacturing capacity by 6.5 million cases a year.
The warehouse is integrated with cutting-edge technology, such as the Automated Storage & Retrieval System. The facility was further equipped with solar photovoltaic panels in 2022.
Details of F&NHB’s existing soft drinks facility
F&NHB’s Shah Alam plant is the biggest of the three production facilities owned by the company in Malaysia. Constructed with a multimillion-dollar investment, the facility is spread across an area of 76 acres. It features 11 production lines, including PET bottle lines, TetraPak lines and can lines, which can produce 1,500 cans of drinks a minute and 65 million cases of soft drinks a year.
In 2011, the company added a three-in-one mono-block production line at the plant, with an investment of approximately S$42m ($13m), to cater to the increasing demand for PET beverages in Malaysia. The production line performs multiple functions such as blowing PET bottles and filling and packing all CSD and isotonic products and is also equipped with the technology to blow bottles in various packaging sizes ranging from 500ml to 2l.
Claimed as the first mono-block production line in the Asia Pacific region, the production line has the capacity to fill 672,000 bottles a day (139.2 million bottles a year) and is one of the fastest production lines in the region.
Marketing commentary on F&NHB
F&NHB is one of the biggest soft drinks manufacturers and distributors in Malaysia. Headquartered in Shah Alam, the company operates four manufacturing plants in the region.
F&NHB offers a broad portfolio of soft drinks products in the Malaysian market with 22 brands in 14 groups, including 100PLUS, F&N Fun Flavours, F&N SEASONS, F&N Condensed and Evaporated Milk, F&N Magnolia, Farmhouse, Carnation and F&N Fruit Tree Fresh. With more than 3,000 employees, the company operates in Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand and Indochina.