THE first batch of Oreo cookies and Barni cakes made in Bahrain will roll off the production line later this morning, when food and beverage giant Mondelez officially opens its new biscuit factory.
The $90 million Mondelez Bahrain Biscuits factory is located at the Bahrain International Investment Park, Hidd.
Construction started in February 2016 and the facility will later add Ritz Crackers, belVita, Prince and TUC biscuits to its product list.
Today’s opening will take place under the patronage of Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, son of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.
The plant, with an annual capacity of 90,000 tonnes, is located on a 250,000sqm plot – the equivalent of 30 football pitches.
In a statement the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry said this year marked a decade since Mondelēz’s first investment in Bahrain – a $75m Kraft Cheese and Tang powdered beverage plant.
That facility is also located at Bahrain International Investment Park and produces 110,000 tonnes of Kraft Cheese and Tang powered beverages every year, serving markets across the Middle East and North Africa.
Since 2008 Mondelez has injected more than $250m into the local economy, employing over 200 people directly in the cheese and beverage plant and supporting thousands of indirect jobs.
The ministry said it remained actively involved with Mondelez since the company’s first investment, resulting in a collaboration that led to the biscuit plant announcement in 2014.
“When the new development project reaches peak production it will employ more than 300 people, hiring across capabilities including manufacturing, sales and marketing, procurement and logistics,” said the ministry in a statement.
“At the same time, it will offer indirect employment to thousands with jobs in the local economy through suppliers and business partners.
“Mondelez’s investment in this new plant is a clear demonstration of the company’s continued confidence in Bahrain as a location for high value added manufacturing.
“It is also a recognition of the regional growth opportunities that can be seized from Bahrain.”
Over the past four years, a team at the ministry has worked with Mondelez to extend its capabilities in Bahrain.
The biscuit factory will constitute one of Mondelez’s most technologically advanced manufacturing sites in the world, equipped with the latest process technology and manufacturing controls.