The new $16.5 million line was formally opened on Friday December 6th by His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia, in a special ceremony held at Coopers’ Regency Park brewery. Also attending was Professor Dr Matthias Niemeyer, the Chief Executive Officer of German packaging engineering firm, KHS, which supplied the equipment.
The second bottling line was part of a broader $20 million capital expansion program undertaken by Coopers this year.
Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said the second line would increase flexibility within the brewery as well as position the company for further sales growth.
“Having a second bottling line will reduce down-time and provide Coopers with the additional capacity it requires to handle increasing demand,” he said. “Our staff and contractors have worked exceptionally hard to complete the installation and have the line up and running in time for the Christmas and the summer season.”
The new line has a capacity of 1200 bottles a minute and is being dedicated to Coopers’ traditional products including Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Mild Ale and Stout, which make up more than 70% of bottle volume.
The existing bottling line will be used for the other beers produced at Coopers, including the International brands Sapporo and Carlsberg, as well as other packaging formats.
Dr Cooper said the expansion took place as Coopers was enjoying one of the longest periods of growth in the company’s history.
“Our beer sales volume has grown by an average of 9.8% per year for the past 20 years,” he said. “In the first five months of this financial year, growth in beer volume has been 4.6%.
“We now have about 4.5% of the national beer market and continue to grow, despite a period of declining beer sales nationally.
“This new line will enable us to support our ongoing growth as well as the addition of other brands in our beer and home-brew portfolios.”
Dr Cooper said the latest capital expansion, including the bottling line, means that Coopers had now invested more than $150 million in the brewery since it opened in 1998.