Gov. Bobby Jindal joined Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company President Darian Chustz, Coca-Cola Company President and CEO Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United CEO and Chairman Claude Nielsen, and Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden for the grand opening of Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s Baton Rouge production and distribution facility.
Construction on Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company’s new facility began in May 2007. In May 2008, the company announced that it would expand the facility, increasing the total size of the new facility to 781,000 square feet and making a total, local investment of approximately $178 million. Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company expects the expansion to add up to 113 new jobs by 2012 with an average annual salary of $45,000.
Through collaboration with the Coca-Cola Company, Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company is now a regional production and distribution hub for the Coca-Cola system. The revised building design expanded local capability to include production of Powerade and VitaminWater, through the addition of three thermal lines, for a total of six high-speed lines. Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company is now supplying Powerade and will soon supply VitaminWater to Coca-Cola bottlers throughout Louisiana and into neighboring states.
In order to secure the expanded production agreement with the Coca-Cola Company, it was necessary to expand the project site’s infrastructure. LED provided $1.4 million in performance-based assistance for two water wells and other site improvements through its Economic Development Award Program.
Phase one of the facility was completed in 2008. The first thermal line is now operational, and the second and third thermal lines will begin operating in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The three additional lines will provide up to 113 new jobs over four years, bringing the total employee base to over 600 people.
The new building incorporates many energy conservation initiatives and is the first Coca-Cola bottler to receive LEED certification. In addition, the new operation contains an on-site reclamation center for paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum and shrink wrap.