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Manufacturing kicks off 2015 to a great start

Three major new manufacturing projects – two already under construction – demonstrate the strength of business confidence in Bahrain as an investment destination. Manufacturing output has grown by 80% in the last five years and the sector accounts for 14% of GDP.
 
Mondelēz stays sweet on Bahrain
 
Mondelēz International recently laid the cornerstone for a new $90 million biscuit plant in Hidd, Bahrain.
This is Mondelēz’s second investment in Bahrain: it has been operating a $75 million Kraft cheese and Tang powdered-beverage plant at the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) since 2008.
 
The new plant will be the company’s largest Middle East manufacturing facility, producing 90,000 tonnes of biscuits a year. It will enable Mondelēz to meet double-digit growth in demand across the MENA region for brands such as Ritz crackers, belVita, Prince and TUC biscuits, and Barni cakes. In fact, the plant will export to around 100 countries.
 
Full commercial production starts early in 2016 as part of a two-to-three year initial phase. Eventually the plant will create up to 300 direct jobs and support as many as 1,000 indirect jobs in the local economy.
 
Commenting at the cornerstone ceremony, HE Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry and Commerce, said: “We are very pleased to see Mondelēz International moving ahead quickly with construction of this multi-million-dollar facility that will make such a valuable contribution to the economy and people of Bahrain.”

Dry bulk logistics hub takes shape
 
Construction has started on a 30,000 m2 dry bulk logistics facility at the Bahrain Logistics Zone.
 
The $30 million project is a joint venture between Bahrain-based Schmidt Middle East Logistics and nogaholding, the business and investment arm of NOGA (National Oil and Gas Authority).
 
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Transportation are helping Schmidt make it easy to establish operations. The Kingdom is, after all, taking a healthy share of business in a sector that’s growing strongly across the GCC.
 
So, what is a dry bulk logistics facility? It’s designed to store, handle and distribute bulk materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, catalysts and additives for the chemical and petrochemical industry – hence the involvement of NOGA.
 
The new facility, being developed in three stages, will ultimately store around 30,000 metric tonnes of materials and create up to 30 local jobs. It should be ready for customer use by the end of 2015.
 
Armacell finds Bahrain more flexible
 
Armacell, a German-based leader in engineered foam and flexible foam for equipment insulation, has agreed to build a new manufacturing facility in Bahrain. The plant will be built at the BIIP and is expected to create more than 100 jobs producing elastomeric rubber insulation for the GCC’s $3 billion heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) market.
 
The company, which employs more than 2,200 people worldwide, worked with the EDB’s Berlin office to develop the agreement. Armacell is the latest in a long line of German companies, such as DHL, BASF, SMS Meer, and RMA, who value Bahrain’s world-class manufacturing and logistics infrastructure and use the Kingdom as a base to access the wider GCC market.
 
HE Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications and former Acting Chief Executive of the EDB said: “Armacell joins a number of prominent German and other international businesses that are using Bahrain as a manufacturing hub to access the GCC, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, currently worth $1.6 trillion and expected to reach $2 trillion by 2020. In Bahrain, German businesses will find a sophisticated regulatory environment, excellent transport connections, low costs and competitive taxes, and a highly educated workforce.”