PepsiCo opens $130m plant in Jurong

The PepsiCo plant in Jurong East is expected to produce and supply beverage concentrates for a billion consumers in 20 markets across the Asia-Pacific. The new production facility is set to create 90 skilled jobs.
The PepsiCo plant in Jurong East is expected to produce and supply beverage concentrates for a billion consumers in 20 markets across the Asia-Pacific. The new production facility is set to create 90 skilled jobs.PHOTO: PEPSICO

Concentrate plant will cater to rising beverage demand in region

A new $130 million PepsiCo drink concentrate plant that was officially opened yesterday in Jurong East will help meet rapidly rising beverage demand in the Asia-Pacific.

The plant, located at a 2ha site, will produce and supply concentrates for a billion people in 20 markets across the region, including Thailand, Japan and Myanmar.

Officiating at the event, Mr S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), said the region made up 31 per cent of global sales for processed food and beverages last year, up from 18 per cent in 2014.

PepsiCo said the facility is the first concentrate manufacturing plant built by the global beverage giant in 10 years - its 12th globally.

The plant took 18 months to build and was completed late last year.

About 150 people attended the opening, including senior government officials and executives from PepsiCo and its partner suppliers.

Among them were Ms Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, charge d'affaires at the United States Embassy here; Mr Adel Garas, president for the Asia-Pacific at PepsiCo; Mr David Murray, general manager of PepsiCo Global Concentrate Solutions; and Ms Thien Kwee Eng, assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

This latest concentrate plant is PepsiCo's fourth in Asia. It has three others in China, India and Pakistan.

Singapore was chosen as the location for the facility because of its strategic location, great business climate and highly skilled workforce, said the company.

Mr Iswaran encouraged "more companies to adopt advanced manufacturing technologies to drive productivity and strengthen the competitiveness of their operations in Singapore''.

He noted that the plant is using robotics in packaging processes that would lead to an improvement of more than 70 per cent in terms of labour productivity.

The technology would also enable the plant to be more energy-efficient, requiring only 60 per cent of the energy needed by conventional processes employed in concentrate manufacturing.

The facility is set to create 90 new skilled jobs, including positions for scientists, engineers, supply chain specialists and flavour sensory technicians. PepsiCo will also train workers so they are better prepared for jobs with specialised skill sets.

As an example, Mr Iswaran cited Ms Sally Hooh, who joined PepsiCo last year as a quality control senior technician. She received technical training in the company's instrumentation and test methods, as well as in laboratory and chemical management skills.

In February this year, she completed specialised company training in gas chromatography, used in chemical analysis. She will be putting all these skills to good use, to ensure the quality of PepsiCo's products at the new plant.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'PepsiCo opens $130m plant in Jurong'. Print Edition | Subscribe