The internationally active ALPLA Group is expanding its presence in North Africa with its market entry in Morocco and setting the course for growth in the Maghreb. The plastic packaging specialist has acquired a majority stake in the packaging producer Atlantic Packaging and founded the joint venture ALPLA Morocco with the previous sole owner Diana Holding. In addition to PET preforms for the beverage industry, plastic pallets and films are produced at the plant in Tangier. Preform production has recently been tripled through investments in new machinery.
In its ongoing international expansion efforts, ALPLA now also provides safe, affordable and sustainable plastic packaging solutions in Morocco. By acquiring a majority stake in the packaging company Atlantic Packaging and establishing a joint venture with the previous sole owner Diana Holding, ALPLA is contributing its expertise and experience to the production of PET preforms for the regional markets in the Maghreb and for Western Africa. In addition to preforms, ALPLA Morocco also produces plastic pallets by injection moulding and packaging films by extrusion at its modern plant in Tangier. Currently, 32 people are employed at the site.
ALPLA Morocco’s preform capacity has already been tripled in 2023 by two additional preform production lines. In the coming years, ALPLA is committed to increasing the portfolio of the Moroccan site through further local activities, potentially including bottle and closure production. This initiative aims to establish the groundwork for growth and sustainable packaging solutions in the North Western African Region.
‘Together with our strategic partner Diana Holding, we want to exploit the enormous potential of the regional markets, open up new segments and contribute our expertise as a global system provider for preforms, bottles and closures,’ explains Christian Fessler, Managing Director Middle East and North Africa at ALPLA.
In addition to its packaging subsidiary, Diana Holding is primarily active in the agro-industrial sector. Through this joint venture, the family-run group is strengthening its packaging division, which was founded in 2007, by capitalising on its substantial bottling experience garnered over nearly 50 years as the former Coca-Cola Company bottler in the northern region of Morocco.
‘Our joint vision is to be one of the leading suppliers of high-quality plastic packaging in Morocco and for Western Africa, and to offer innovative solutions. We created Atlantic Packaging with the vision of expanding its capacity through a strategic partnership. In ALPLA, which puts a great emphasis on the three P’s: People, Planet, Profit, we have found the ideal partner for this project, enabling the creation of further synergies,’ says Rita Maria Zniber, CEO of Diana Holding.
PRODUCTION CAPACITY TRIPLED
The approximately 12,000 square meter plant in the free trade zone of Tangier is to be expanded in stages over the coming years. More than 20,000 square metres of space is available for future expansion. In the first stage, ALPLA Morocco has tripled its production capacity from the current 100 million preforms to around 300 million units per year. To this end, the company is investing in two new PET preform production lines.
‘Through the location in Morocco, we can supply our global customers in northern Africa with the usual quality and flexibility, gain new business partners and expand our portfolio to include new areas. At the same time, we are creating new jobs by expanding our production volume,’ says Javier Delgado, ALPLA Regional Managing Director Africa, Middle East and Turkey.
In addition to the know-how for the development and production of resource-saving plastic packaging made of recycled material, ALPLA Morocco is looking ahead to leverage its capabilities as a system provider and to introduce new technologies in the future. ‘By manufacturing bottles, preforms and closures, as we already do in South Africa and Angola, we provide customers with successful products and sustainable solutions from a single source, giving them a market advantage,’ says Delgado.
The joint venture was signed by the contracting parties on 31 August 2023, and approved by the local antitrust authorities. The parties have agreed not to disclose the terms and conditions.