The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is located in the heart of Africa, surrounded by palm trees and forestry. For many; it would seem impossible to build a modern plant for the production of wine, and the preparation and packaging of mineral water; in such a location.
In 1995, MachinePoint Food Technologies launched a project in Equatorial Guinea which resulted in the establishment of a winery which is entirely devoted to wine packaging.
Once the winery was up and running, the next step was to incorporate another venture into the old factory; the filling and packaging of prepared water into brick packaging. Thus was born Ceiba water, which for the first two years only packaged ready-prepared water into brick packs. At the two-year mark, an investigation was launched into the necessary treatments required to prepare water, and to identify the best method which could offer a complete quality guarantee. The elected method was to filter the water by reverse osmosis; having been preceded by an anti-fouling and chlorination pretreatment, and followed by a subsequent treatment of hardening and security filtering.
Given the success of the winery and the pilot water-filling plant; a new, higher capacity factory was built for the production of bottling water into 1.5 liter PET bottles. The installation of the new factory was completed within just one week of the closure of the old plant; including the assembly of all the tanks and machinery.
Only 3 weeks were required for the complete assembly. The aseptic filling line, pasteurizer and packaging line were constructed in record time, along with the water treatment system. The new plant contains all you need for a modern plant; a fermentation process, reverse osmosis equipment, storage tanks and chillers. PET bottles are manufactured from hand blown preforms, supplied from Spain. Automatic blow moulders are currently in use, as the market is rapidly and continuously evolving.
The PET bottling line fills 5 liter, and 1.5 liter bottles, whilst the shrink packaging line allows for the shrinking of both closed and full board boxes. The advanced water treatment system is a result of four years of experimentation; and a unique, rewarding experience in Africa.
The plant currently generates a volume of 12 million liters of wine, 10 million bottles of water, and 12 million bottles of cola and orange (0.5 liter PET format) on an annual basis. Ceiba water has completely replaced traditional brands such as Montedemon and Tangi, and has been exporting to Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo and Chad.
Since then, MachinePoint Food Technologies have undertaken further projects in the area, for example; supplying the company Sofavin de Camerún which is located in Yaoundé, with two brick carton packaging lines; as well as a line for recovering the carbon dioxide produced from the fermentation of wine.