AS shipments go, it was one of the most valuable in the history of Burton brewer Molson Coors.
The Station Street firm took delivery today of two key components for its new state-of-the-art bottling line – a package worth £3 million delivered on the back of a lorry from Germany.
The twin 15 tonne stainless steel washer and filler units will form part of a £20 million bottling line capable of washing, filling, labelling and packaging 60,000 bottles an hour, a 33 per cent increase in the capacity of the two lines it will replace.
Jim Shaw, the firm’s European supply chain strategy director, watched with pride as the new equipment was hoisted by a 50 tonne crane before being carefully wheeled into the bottling plant.
The new line will enable Molson Coors to deliver new, innovative packaging which it currently has to outsource to other companies.
He told the Mail: “This is the culmination of 18 months of work and it’s a key moment as it’s a tangible thing to see the equipment here.
“This equipment will last 15 to 20 years and is part of a long-term commitment to brewing in Burton.
“It gives us the opportunity to bring in new innovations in packaging and to modernise the look and feel of our brands.
“We need to be competitive to survive in a tough market and things like this are a key part of us being successful.
“It’s really exciting to see the arrival of such a huge consignment which truly is a visual reminder of our commitment to brew great beer in Burton for years to come.”
The new bottling line is part of a £75 million modernisation programme which will include a new energy centre on the site of the demolished former maltings tower.
The new line, which will be more energy-efficient and use less water than those it replaces, is expected to be fully operational by April
It will accommodate all the firm’s bottled beers as well as its soon-to-be-launched Carling Cider brand.