Stellenbosch-based liquor group Distell has extended its national supply contract with Afrox to support an upgrade at its secondary cider packaging plant in Springs, east of Johannesburg, which is Distell’s biggest cider production site. Distell is the leading cider producer on the local market through its best-selling Savanna and Hunter’s Dry brands and is ranked as the second-biggest cider company globally.
Afrox has supplied the Springs plant with food grade carbon dioxide to carbonate the cider since it was commissioned about 20 years ago. Over this period the cider production operation has grown from one bottling line to nine and Afrox has continually increased the size of its bulk on-site installation to keep pace with this expansion.
“As part of the latest extended contract, we’re putting in extra storage and reticulation equipment,” Afrox’s Kevin Townsend says. “The extension involves installing an additional 50 ton carbon dioxide storage vessel. We’re also supplying Distell with liquid petroleum gas to power its forklift operations at the plant.”
The gas giant also supplies food grade carbon dioxide for carbonating sparkling wines and packaging and liquid nitrogen for blanketing to a number of Distell’s wineries, including Adam Tas, Bergkelder and JC le Roux in the Cape.
Afrox leads the South African market in the supply of carbon dioxide, drawing the gas from a network of plants throughout the country and distributing it to customers throughout the country via a fleet of tankers.