Cameroon’s sole glass manufacturer Socaver has completed a renovation of its Furnace No. 1.

The investment at the Société Camerounaise de Verrerie (SOCAVER) site in Douala will increase its production capacity by 50% thanks to a XAF3.5 billion investment ($6 million).

It will increase production capacity to approximately 100,000 bottles a day to meet the needs of the domestic market as well as the surrounding region.

Socaver is a sister company of brewer Boissons du Cameroun.

The brewer said: “With an annual melting capacity of 15,000 tons, the start-up of this new furnace will reduce local companies’ glass imports and contribute to the achievement of the Cameroonian government’s import-substitution strategy.”

The project required the shutdown of the furnace and took place between March and July this year.

Major technology partners included German furnace engineering group Sorg, Swiss forming business Bucher Emhart Glass, French inspection company Tiama and Italian cold end specialist All Glass.

The investment led to the creation of 30 new jobs

Furnace lighting took place on July 5 at 10.12am when Stephane Descazeud, managing director of Boissons du Cameroun, switched the on button.

Boissons du Cameroun said: “The production of 15,000 tonnes of molten glass will contribute to increased packaging of beverages in glass, leading to a considerable reduction in the use of plastic.

“Boissons du Cameroun thus reaffirms its commitment to the promotion of glass to the detriment of plastic, a source of pollution.

“The Société Camerounaise de Verrerie, the only glass factory in Central Africa, is more than 90% part of the circular economy, one of the objectives of the energy and ecological transition and one of the commitments for sustainable development.”

The glassworks also has a second furnace which was inaugurated in 2019.

This investment is part of the XAF200 billion investment programme committed by Castel Group, the Socaver’s parent company in its acquisition of Guinness Cameroon.

In addition to increasing Socaver's production capacity, this programme includes the construction of new production lines dedicated to Guinness products in Boissons du Cameroun factories in Yaoundé, Bafoussam, and Garoua.