Mars plans $210m chocolate unit in Saudi Arabia
Jeddah, February 16, 2012
Mars, a leading chocolate manufacturer, will set up a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) at a total cost of $210 million.
The facility will be the second factory Mars has built in the region, with the first based in Dubai. The facility, which will begin operating by 2014 producing Galaxy and Galaxy Jewels, will be one of the largest chocolate factories in the GCC region, said a statement from Mars and KAEC.
Mars Saudi Arabia has made an initial investment of $60 million with an additional $150 million planned over the next 10 years, it said.
The facility will be built to LEED Green Building standards and initially employ 60 Mars associates on the project team. A further 300-400 associates are anticipated to be brought onboard once the factory is fully operational, said the statement.
Mars will be developing and nurturing Saudi talent through offering training, internships and partnerships with local educational establishments, it said.
The project will particularly open up opportunities for Saudi women in fields such as marketing, sales, finance, engineering, as well as research and development, the statement said.
Fahd Al-Rasheed, managing director and CEO of KAEC, said: “Our long-term partnership further proves that King Abdullah Economic City has the ability to attract leading companies from diverse industries from across the globe. We are pleased to have Mars Incorporated establish their presence at KAEC’s Industrial Valley as the world’s leading confectionary.”
Ahmed Linjawy, president of Industry and City Services in KAEC, said: “KAEC has recently seen the completion of leasing the first phase of the Industrial Valley and the launch of the second phase.”
Mohamed Safieddine, general manager at Mars Saudi Arabia, said at the launch: “The construction of a new chocolate manufacturing site in the region is a key enabler of our roadmap to growth strategy. With our network operating at capacity, we have made the decision that this investment is the best way forward for us to create capacity.” –TradeArabia News Service