Austria-based plastic packaging specialist 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 company has acquired a majority stake in Tangier-based 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 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.
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 Northwest African region.
Christian Fessler, Managing Director Middle East & North Africa at ALPLA Group, explains, “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.”
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.
Rita Maria Zniber, President and CEO of Diana Holding, says, “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.”
Production Capacity Tripled
The approximately 12,000 square metre plant in Tangier Free Zone (TFZ) 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.
Javier Delgado Villanueva, Regional Managing Director for AMET (Africa, Middle East & Turkey) at ALPLA Group, says, “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.”
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, performs, 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,” adds Villanueva.