The plants are part of Coca-Colas three-year investment in China

The plants are part of Coca-Cola's three-year investment in China

The Coca-Cola Co has opened a new bottling plant in China and is close to completing two more in the country after ramping up its investment in order to quench Chinese consumers' growing thirst for soft drinks.

The three plants, worth a combined CNY1.6bn (US$240m), are part of the soft drinks giant's three-year investment in the China. In March last year, Coca-Cola announced plans to invest US$2bn in China over three years.

The bottling plant in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, which opened today (29 October), is the 41st Coca-Cola bottling plant in China.

It is the largest Coca-Cola production facility in the country and will begin production in November, the firm said.

"Our business has experienced strong growth year on year in China, which is now our third largest market," said Coca-Cola's chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent. "More importantly, the new plants in Inner Mongolia, Henan and Guangdong, will extend our competitive edge in China and allow Coca-Cola to support local community development by providing jobs, generating tax revenue and boosting further investment in the local economy by Coca-Cola suppliers," he added.

A second plant, situated in Sanshui, is scheduled to commence production by the end of the year. A third plant, situated in Luohe in Henan Province, is also near to completion, said the firm, although it gave no specific date.

All three facilities will produce beverages including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, and Minute Maid. The plants are expected to create around 2,000 jobs in the local communities and around 20,000 additional indirect employment opportunities in the supporting industries.

By the end of the year, Coca-Cola will have opened six facilities in China within the last two years.