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Jan 13, 2016

Bowen Launches New Bottling Line

On Tuesday, industry giant Bowen and Bowen launched its brand new, state-of-the-art bottling line. That line, located at the company’s Ladyville plant in the Belize District, will significantly increase production – to meet heightened demand currently, but also to meet expected demand over the next decade. The impressive structure, representing a significant part of forty-million dollars, was presented to the public with much fanfare and the attendance of staff, friends, stakeholders and dignitaries. News Five’s Mike Rudon was in Ladyville and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

With the flashing of lights and the quiet hissing of well oiled and perfectly synchronized machinery, Bowen & Bowen’s new bottling line made its official debut to a captive audience. The line is one very significant facet of an integrated development plan with a budget of forty-million dollars.

 

Michael Bowen

Michael Bowen, President/C.E.O., Bowen & Bowen

“Four years ago we took our sales data and plotted them a decade into the future, making our best estimates of what demands would be. From there our planning team spent many long hours analyzing the data, debating the options and sharing their visions on how we were going to meet that demand. The result was an integrated plan with aggressive investments across all sectors, in people, in systems, in equipment and infrastructure, including this plant that we have here today.”

 

The facility is an impressive one, dominated by the imposing structure which almost doubles the production capacity of the line it replaces.

 

Nolan Michael

Nolan Michael, Director of Production, Bowen & Bowen

“What you’re looking at is one of the most state-of-the-art plastic bottling lines in all of Central America and all of the Caribbean. We are extremely proud of it. It is capable of making twenty-two thousand six hundred milliliter bottles per hour, as well as ten thousand one point five litre bottles per hour. It is a complete blow and fill bottling line, which basically means it starts out with a little plastic tube, manufactures that plastic tube into a finished bottle and almost immediately labels that bottle and fills it and sends all the bottles to a shrink tunnel that stretches plastic around a case of twenty-four or a case of six, whichever the size may be. From there it sends it to automated palletizing robots for transport into our main warehouse.”

 

According to Michaels, this new line replaces a much smaller line which was capable of producing only thirteen thousand bottles per hour. Both lines are still operational to serve a significantly increased demand for product. That means all complaints about the unavailability of Bowen products should disappear.

 

Nolan Michael

“That’s part of our investment strategy. If you look at the warehouse behind you you’ll see that it’s completely filled to capacity with product. We are extremely thankful for the continued support of the Belizean public. They have supported us for years and continue to support. We are very happy with the demand that we have, and as such we must invest in that continued support. This line behind me is one of those investment steps that we have taken.”

 

The investments by the Bowen Group over the course of many years have not gone unnoticed. Its line of soft drinks continues to dominate the market, and so does it’s very attractive and popular sister, Belikin Beer.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“On that sister side of your activity you’ve been able to deal with competition even to the extent of unfair competition, in terms of some of the Caricom beers that come in from the LDCs which are able to bottle international brands and bring them into our market as products of those lesser developed countries in Caricom. It is a matter of pride to you, and certainly to me and the government that you’ve been able to deal with, if not completely slough off the competition. And that I believe is testament to the quality of the products of Bowen and Bowen and testament to the talent, dedication and skill of the staff of Belizeans that Bowen and Bowen employs.”

 

Reliable information to us is that sooner, rather than later, as demand continues to increase, we may see the launch of a similar line for Belikin products. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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