By IMMACULATE KARAMBU
NAIROBI : The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest Sh8.2 billion in a can factory that will be set up by GZ Industries.
The factory will primarily produce aluminium beverage cans, and is hoped to provide 220 direct permanent jobs, and more indirect openings in the local supply chain in sectors such as logistics and transportation, maintenance and other support services.
IFC, the World Bank Group’s private lending arm, announced the planned equity investment in a disclosure document released Thursday.
GZ Industries, a Nigerian outfit, will be set up on Nairobi-Mombasa highway. It currently operates two beverage can manufacturing plants in Nigeria.
It is on an expansion drive that will see it open a similar factory in South Africa, besides Kenya and acquire container glass, plastic crate and crown manufacturing operations of Frigoglass in Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates at a total cost of ($360 million) Sh36.7 billion.
“The project will replace imported beverage cans with those locally produced in Kenya, which currently imports all can requirements, saving foreign exchange. Kenya will earn additional foreign exchange from the export of cans to other East African countries,” a statements from said.
Apart from IFC, other major shareholders of GZ Industries include Standard Chartered Private Equity and Verod Industries Ltd, a Nigerian investment company.
The planned can factory in Kenya will be the first in East Africa, hence key in developing the local manufacturing industry and transferring knowledge of can manufacturing to the local population.