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Jewel in the canning Crown

CROWN Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd has announced a US$25 million plan to increase the capacity for making beer and soft drink cans at its Phnom Penh factory to meet growing market demand.

The company plans to install a new production line at its plant. The line is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2011 and have an initial capacity to produce 700 million 33-centilitre aluminum cans per year.

The move will expand the capacity of Crown’s plant, in Chom Chao village, Dangkor District, to 1.3 billion cans per year, according to a company press release.

Crown Asia Pacific Holdings has produced cans in Cambodia since 2007, after sinking an initial investment of $40 million into the project.

A spokesman for Crown Beverage Cans (Cambodia) Limited, said yesterday that the plant produces empty cans for all the Kingdom’s beer producers and soft drink makers, such Coca-Cola.

“The installation of machines and equipment will cost around $25 million,” said the spokesman, who asked not to be named.

“We are excited to see the Cambodian market’s growing demand”, stated Jozef Salaerts, president of Crown’s Asia-Pacific Division.

“The country is developing rapidly with more customers choosing the aluminum can as their packaging preference.”

Crown Asia Pacific Holdings is a subsidiary of Crown Holdings, a global supplier of metal packaging products.

In the past week, the company has moved further to consolidate its assets in Asia.

On Tuesday, the firm announced it had purchased back a 44.57-percent stake in its four joint-venture facilities in China and a 49-percent holding in its factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, from affiliates of Swire Pacific Limited for $150 million.

According to the chairman of Crown Holdings, John W Conway, the company has an “emerging markets growth initiative” in Asia.

On Friday, Crown Holdings hit a 52-week high on the New York Stock Exchange, trading at $29.49 a share during the day. It closed the week at $29.11 a share.

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