Following a surge of sales in Guinness Draught and Guinness Zero, Diageo has announced today to invest GBP 40.5 million (USD 53.1m) at its packaging facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Runcorn, England.
The facility in Belfast will see its canning production more than double with a GBP 24.5 million (USD 32.1m) investment that will convert existing warehouses into a new state-of-the-art packaging line capable of producing 72,000 cans per hour. A further GBP 16 million (USD 21m) will be invested at the Runcorn site to significantly upgrade its bottling line and expand warehousing capacity.
Diageo is making the investment to meet global demand for Guinness products from domestic and export markets, with the expansion set to support accelerated production and product innovation. It will enhance efficiency and competitiveness at both sites.
Apparently initial problems in the production of Guinness Zero have been overcome. A first launch in Ireland was stopped in November 2020 due to microbial contamination and the product was launched again half a year later. (inside.beer, 13.6.2021)
Construction of the new investment is set to begin immediately with capacity at both facilities expected to come online in 2023.
Commenting Aidan Crowe, Operations Director for Beer at Diageo, stated: “This expansion is a significant investment in the development of our packaging facilities. The projects in Belfast and Runcorn will support our growth ambitions, helping us to deliver end-to-end product innovation, and reinforce our agility to meet demand and provide excellent service to our customers around the world.”