Work starts on $90m biscuit factory in Bahrain

 A food manufacturing complex is being built in Hidd, Bahrain with a new biscuit factory as its centrepiece

MondelezThe government has invested $80 million to reclaim the land for the compound, where US-based food giant Mondelez International is constructing its $90-million factory, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

The first batch of ‘Made in Bahrain’ Oreo cookies, Ritz crackers, belVita biscuits, Prince biscuits and TUC biscuits as well as Barni cakes is expected to roll off the production line by the middle of next year.

The cornerstone for the plant was laid yesterday by Industry and Commerce Minister Zayed Al Zayani and Mondelez International integrated supply chain executive vice-president Daniel Myers in the presence of new US Ambassador William Roebuck.

Myers told the GDN that the state-of-the-art facility will produce 90,000 tonnes of biscuits per year at the plant, which will be spread over 250,000 sq m – roughly the size of 30 football pitches.

It will be the company’s largest manufacturing facility in the Middle East.

The land reclamation was completed within 140 days, which, according to Myers, was a testimony to Bahrain’s business-friendly commitment.

“It is incredible that the land we stand on now was water just a few months ago and we will be achieving our dream of from ocean to Oreo within 18 months,” said Myers.

“The Bahrain government has spent $80 million to reclaim the land and we are investing $90 million for the construction of the plant.

“This new investment is part of our journey to reinvent our supply chain around the world to meet growth demands, while also reducing costs and improving productivity.

“As many as 300 direct jobs will be created by the factory by the end of the initial phase. We also expect to help sustain over 1,500 more jobs in the local economy.”

Myers explained that biscuits produced by the factory will be exported to 100 countries and when all four lines become fully operational by 2017, the number of trucks carrying the products into Saudi Arabia every year will nearly double from 4,000 to 7,500.

Industry and Commerce Minister Zayed Al Zayani said the new plant was expected to make a valuable contribution to Bahrain’s economy and local workforce.

“We expect the new plant to create specialised trained Bahraini labour opportunities with the highest international standards, we look forward to the completion of construction and full commercial operations early next year,” he said.

“With an integrated supply chain of raw materials, ingredients and packaging requirements together with all of the company’s service providers, adjacent to the new site, the development will be a first for Bahrain.”

Mondelez International, formerly known as Kraft Foods, has already invested more than $75 million in a Kraft Cheese and Tang powdered-beverage plant, which has been operating at the Bahrain International Investment Park since 2008.

With a production capacity of 110,000 tonnes per year, the existing facility employs more than 240 people and has injected over $250 million in the local economy, added Myers. – TradeArabia News Service