One of the Coega IDZ’s first export investors – PE Cold Storage – is expanding with an additional investment of R100 million on new state of the art facility in the Coega IDZ.
The Port Elizabeth (PE) Cold Storage plant located in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), one of the very first exports orientated investors to locate their facility at the IDZ is expanding its size by two fold.
“The expansion of the new facility amounts to a further investment of R100 million, which would result in the doubling of the existing capacity of 7,500 pallets to around 15,000 pallets storage,” says Mark Jensen, PE Cold Storage Director.
The investment is an addition to the original warehouse investment made as early as the Financial Year 2007/08 which amounted to R 85 million. Since then, the plant has seen its business grow in the process benefiting a substantial number of families in the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) through job creation and employment.
“We employ 50 people at the existing facility, and with the current expansion we foresee the facility accommodating a further 20 staff amounting to much needed jobs and contributing to the socio-economic development of the NMB Municipality,” adds Craig Vaughn the General Manager PE Cold Storage.
“Furthermore, the expansion complements our state of the art modern storage facility and will accommodate greater volumes for the increasing citrus production in the Eastern Cape. Our operations involve the pre-cooling of fruit for our customers that export internationally to Europe, Russia, Middle East, India, UK, Canada and South East Asia to mention a few,” adds Jensen.
The PE Cold Storage Warehouse expansion plans were envisioned to only take place in the FY 2020/21, but due to a decision by Fresh Produce Terminals (FPT) – to convert their quayside cold storage facilities in the PE Harbour to a manganese terminal in the latter half of 2016, it has necessitated PE Cold Storage having to move its plans to an earlier date. FPT had historically handled a significant portion of the volumes stored in Port Elizabeth and given the inherent growth of PE Cold Storage’s customers, and the additional requirements from the FPT customers the industry would not have had enough cold storage capacity to cater for the 2017 volumes.
The construction of the new facility began in earnest towards the end of 2016 and is planned for completion in time for the 2017 citrus season which commences in March of this year and reaches its peak volumes in June 2017.
Given the limited timeframe for the extension of the storage facility, there has been an enormous effort from all parties involved to see the facility completed on time. The relevant planning and approval divisions of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, the Coega Development Corporation, Cullingworth Associates, and the contractors, all worked tirelessly to ensure an expedient approval process.
“We are extremely grateful to all involved for all these efforts. With the project on target for timeous completion we have hopefully averted what could have been a very difficult season for the Citrus Production,” concludes Jensen.
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