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    Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.


    Sustainable and profitable – Coca-Cola bottler Haad Thip is on the path to net zero

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    The Thai Coca-Cola bottler Haad Thip is a trailblazer when it comes to sustainability – and has once again chosen technology from Krones.
    • Haad Thip Company Limited produces and distributes products for The Coca-Cola Company in Thailand’s 14 southern provinces. The beverage portfolio includes Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite as well as Minute Maid Splash and Namthip Water. Image credits:

      Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.

    The partnership between Haad Thip and Krones goes back more than twenty years. And now Haad Thip has once again opted for technology from Krones, for its investments in a PET line and a returnable-glass line. The Coca-Cola bottler, whose plant is located in the region of Surat Thani, is a sustainability leader and has even been honored by the King of Thailand. But what makes the small bottler in southeastern Thailand so special and how is Krones supporting its efforts to reach net zero emissions?

    Turquoise waters, towering limestone cliffs and dense jungle – if you google Surat Thani, you’ll likely want to immediately book a flight there and set off for adventure. The natural diversity of this region in southeastern Thailand is not only beautiful. It is also home to many local communities that have been farming and fishing for their livelihoods for many generations and provides important habitat for a variety of animal and plant species. For example, countless exotic animals live in Khao Sok National Park: With a little luck, you might cross paths with an elephant or catch a glimpse of gibbons in the jungle canopy.

    “We’re very fortunate to live and work in one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” says Jacky Benedetti, Senior Vice President (Supply Chain) at Haad Thip. The beverage plant lies in the western part of Surat Thani, capital of the eponymous region. “To preserve this rich diversity and generate sustainable value for the local communities, we have set ambitious targets within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.” Together with the Coca-Cola Business Group and other partners in Thailand, Haad Thip has been striving to be a leading corporate group with a focus on responsible and sustainable use of beverage packaging. To this end, the bottler is implementing concrete measures aimed at achieving visible, quantifiable results.

    Holistic approach to sustainability

    For example, seasonal rice is cultivated on the premises of the plant in Phunphin, and rubber is harvested nearly every day in the surrounding plantation, both of which serve the local communities as a long-term source of income. Moreover, Haad Thip are using a creative solution to mitigate soil erosion, which is a constant problem in southern Thailand due to heavy rainfall and flooding. The beverage maker is planting Vetiver grass, whose roots and stems naturally hold the soil in place. The company received praise from the King of Thailand for this effort in 2015.

    “I have seen many production sites around the world over the last 20 years, but this one is the greenest and most impressive of all. There are trees and plants everywhere. Everything is in perfect harmony with nature. In my view, Haad Thip truly is one of a kind,” says Peter Buchhauser of Krones sales for the Asia-Pacific region.

    Sustainability is at the heart of our mindset since we started the business in the late 1960s. The logic is to grow sustainably with our communities. Without fledging economy and sustainable environment, we cannot survive either. Erwin HächlMaj. Gen. Patchara RattakulCEO of Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.

    Image 35890
    The plant in Phunphin relies on solar energy. Image credits:

    Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.

    In 2018, Haad Thip committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. And that isn’t just on paper, as initial results show: Since the start of the program, the company has already cut its carbon emissions by 14,429 tons (4,252 tons in 2022 alone). Right now, 17 percent of the operation’s energy consumption is covered by renewables, which corresponds to a reduction in carbon emissions by 1,325 tons per year. That’s due in part to the following:

    • 9,000 solar panels on the property supply the plant with power.
    • Instead of a conventional sludge-based sewage treatment plant, wastewater is treated in an anaerobic and oxidative process that reduces energy consumption by nearly 700,000 kWh per year.
    • There are some 10,000 trees on the property, which absorb over 6,500 tons of carbon per year. 
    • Since 2019, an initiative to lightweight the company’s packaging has further curbed the plant’s carbon emissions by more than 5,000 tons. It’s expected to save another 1,500 tons of carbon by the end of 2023.
    • Thanks to state-of-the-art filling technologies, bottles can be filled at a higher temperature, which in turn reduces energy consumption by 540,000 kWh (or 270 tons of carbon) each year.

    A platform has been established that provides dashboards which allow us to measure carbon emissions daily and has become part of our routine. We have to measure first before we can improve. Erwin HächlJacky BenedettiSenior Vice President (Supply Chain) at Haad Thip

    Saving energy with warm filling

    In December 2022, Krones installed a new line for filling into PET bottles at Haad Thip’s Phunphin plant. It went into operation in April of this year. Besides the fact that bottles will very soon be made of 100 percent recycled material, the line offers the option of warm filling, which saves energy and in turn is a further step toward net zero emissions.

    That’s because, when the filling temperature is low and the ambient temperature high, a warmer is needed to avoid condensation on the filled bottles. With warm filling – in Haad Thip’s case, that’s at 23 degrees Celsius – on the Modulfill VFS, it’s not necessary to warm the bottles, so the need for subsequent cooling is also reduced. The bottles can pass directly from the filler and capper to the labeler and then on to their secondary packaging.

    Project: PET filling line rated at 63,000 bottles per hour
    Customer: Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.
    Location: Surat Thani, Thailand
    Commissioning: April 2023

    The line includes

    Article 35902
    The Contiroll labeler decorates containers with wrap-around, reel-fed labels. Image credits: Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.

    Another factor for the filler that’s not to be underestimated is flexibility. This line runs not only Coca-Cola but also Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta Orange, Fanta Strawberry, Fanta Fruit Punch and Sprite in three different bottle sizes. When asked how often changeovers are necessary, Jacky Benedetti replies with a grin: “Too often! We have a lot of different SKUs and so it’s important not to lose too much time in the cleaning and changeover processes.”

    Image 35903
    Since Haad Thip offers a broad assortment of beverages, flexibility in filling is essential. Image credits:

    Haad Thip Public Company Ltd.

    He’s also been satisfied with the level of service: “We have an excellent relationship with Krones in Thailand. As always, the Krones team worked efficiently with great flexibility. And the after-sales service is some of the best available.”

    New order for a returnable-glass line

    Although Thailand does have a deposit system for glass bottles, it’s often not implemented. Lack of awareness, inefficiency, and insufficient resources for collecting bottles in Thailand’s heavily populated cities are just some of the challenges it faces. Nevertheless, glass bottles are catching on again in Thailand as people and lawmakers realize that they can help to significantly reduce the amount of plastic garbage.

    That’s why Haad Thip recently invested in a new glass line – which will also be delivered by Krones. The line is expected to begin filling soft drinks and water into returnable glass bottles in late 2024, at a rated speed of 48,000 bottles per hour. “This investment doesn’t just make financial sense. It also fits in well with our sustainability goals. We will use paper labels and fully recyclable returnable crates. Switching to glass makes us not only more sustainable but also more profitable. And as long as we’re profitable, we can keep working to become more sustainable. The two go hand-in-hand,” explains Jacky Benedetti.

    The glass line likewise saves energy by using warm filling. The higher filling temperature shifts the temperature difference between that of the cleaned empty bottle and the filling temperature. This means higher discharge temperatures at the washer are possible, and less energy is consumed in the washing process since the empty bottles do not have to be cooled down so much after washing.

    "I am very pleased with our long partnership with Krones. Not only do we rely on Krones' professionalism and innovations, we also reap the benefits from their commitment to making machinery that is environmental friendly,” says CEO Maj. Gen. Patchara Rattakul.

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