KENYA – Guala Closures East Africa (GCEA) subsidiary of the Guala Closures Group (GCG), screw-top manufacturer, has opened its KSh570 million (US$5.5m) factory in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Italian listed company has set up the plant in Kenya targeting to produce bottle caps for alcohol and beverage manufacturers across East Africa.

The firm operates 29 production sites in five continents supplying alcoholic, edible oils and other bottled beverage makers services firms in 100 countries.

GCEA currently supplies caps locally to leading brands like Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL), East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and Patiala Distillers.

At its newly installed plant, it has directly employed 60 Kenyans whom it flew abroad for training in its other factories as it is incorporating the latest technology of producing anti-counterfeiting closures.

One out of every five goods sold in major towns in Kenya is a counterfeit. Data by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers shows the state loses close to Sh200 billion (US$1.9bn) annually due to the penetration of counterfeit products in the market.

Moreover, illegitimate products pose a challenge to public health and security, let alone undermining the income of producers.

“GCEA closures will help fight counterfeit products in African alcohol markets which are posing a severe threat to public health, security, and the economy of the country,” said Guala Closures East Africa managing director Sadanand Hanagodimath.

“We help our customers fight counterfeiting and defend their valuable brands. It means higher sales, revenues and better livelihoods for their employees,” said Guala Closures Africa and India regional director David Stevenson.

According to records, the company has raised production from the initial two million ‘nip caps’ in February to slightly more than 20 million in October this year.

With more than 4,000 employees globally, Guala sells more than 15 billion caps each year with a turnover of Sh62.5 billion (US$606.6m) in 2018.

The US$5.5m plant will be it’s second in Africa after it set up a plant in Cape Town in 2012, furthering Guala Closures’ globalization strategy.

“For us, internationalization is a decisive and strategic growth factor. We are not stopping here; we will double the size of our production plant in Kenya and we are embarking on a new challenge in Belarus.” Said Guala Closures Group CEO Marco Giovannini.