A complete “from pellet to pallet” plant for La Sien (Nigeria)

A complete “from pellet to pallet” plant for La Sien (Nigeria)

Installation to take place at the brand-new factory in the Port Harcourt area, in the Niger Delta.

Entrepreneur and humanitarian Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, the head of the company:
We chose SACMI for its ability to act as a sole provider of all the required technologies, packaging production included. Moreover, we share the same values. We do business to improve people's quality of life,
a factor that makes all the difference

Entrepreneur, humanitarian and one of the 20 most influential women on the African continent. This is Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, head of La Sien Bottling Company Limited, a company with investments in key sectors of the Nigerian economy such as the packaging and marketing of bottled water. And today, with SACMI as its partner, La Sien is set to triple its output capacity and become an independent self-producer of caps and preforms. This will allow it to seize new product development opportunities according to the best international standards of quality, sustainability and performance.

Ms. Lulu-Briggs, how was La Sien Bottling Company founded?
“The idea of setting up a water bottling company stemmed from a personal observation of mine a few years ago. In this part of Nigeria, much of the population had no access to clean drinking water. That small seed led to the establishment of a brand that’s now synonymous, across Nigeria, with quality and excellence in the water and soft drinks sector”.

How did the partnership with SACMI begin and how did it develop?
“We’d already had a medium-speed bottling line running for some years. The growing market success of our bottled water brand and other premium products soon meant it was no longer up to the task. So we started looking around and came up with the idea of taking a dual leap forward. Firstly, we wanted to boost output capacity significantly. Secondly, and more importantly, we wanted to internalize packaging production as this is a key cost and competitiveness factor in the industry, especially in emerging economies like Nigeria”. 

Why choose SACMI?
“As I said, the goal was twofold, to increase output and integrate production of the packaging (i.e. the caps and preforms from which bottles are blown), thus laying the foundations for taking quality to the next level. SACMI is the world’s only provider capable of delivering the best technology in both these areas. Moreover, their specialized personnel provide constant assistance at every stage”.

Can you describe the project in more detail?
“This factory is brand new. It’ll be built a few kilometers from the existing facility, in the Port Harcourt area. SACMI has been a valuable partner all the way and has handled all the plant engineering aspects, working closely with some of the biggest players in the sector. The factory will host a complete manufacturing line; this will produce the caps and preforms and include a complete bottling, stretch-blow molding, filling, closing, and label application line. It’ll also include solutions for the packaging of ready-to-ship bundles.

What’s the timeline and what production performance do you expect?
“We’ll take delivery of the machines in the coming months as per the timetable established with our partner. We expect to be up and running within the year. On the productivity front, we’ll go from the 24,000 bottles produced at the current plant to around 60,000 bottles per hour, thanks also to SACMI’s exclusive ‘dual cavity’ technology, a patented solution that allows two bottles to be stretch-blown simultaneously. We’re also working alongside the SACMI team to develop a new type of lightweight packaging that uses caps and preforms made with market-leading technology. Simulations show that, performance remaining equal, we’ll be able to save up to 5 grams of plastic per bottle, a big bonus for the environment”.

Let's talk about social and environmental sustainability. A shared goal?
“Above all, we see doing business as a tool for boosting people's wellbeing and quality of life. That’s why I’m keen to point out that this partnership with SACMI also stems from a shared focus on the right to health and education, all around the globe. Here in Nigeria we’ve chosen to allocate substantial levels of revenue to schooling projects for underprivileged sections of the population and provide access to essential treatment for debilitating diseases like trachoma, especially for children. SACMI supports similar projects worldwide and I believe we’ll be able to co-develop major projects in this area too”.

And looking to the future?
“We are on the verge of commissioning a new factory, and we are actively considering future investments in extended expansion of our production capacity at a greenfield. So, I think it’s fair to conclude that the project in progress is just the first step of what will be a long, rewarding journey together”. 

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