Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company has inaugurated an advanced energy saving power plant in Romania as part of an initiative to slash annual CO2 emissions across all of Coca-Cola Hellenic's operations by more than 20%.

The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant, constructed in partnership with power development company ContourGlobal, is installed at the Coca-Cola Hellenic bottling facility in the city of Ploiesti. It is the first of 15 plants that Coca-Cola Hellenic has pledged to build in 12 countries, including eight European Union Member States.

"The opening of the CHP plant represents a milestone to ensure the sustainable development of our operations, and of the communities we serve," said Doros Constantinou, CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic.

"Across all of our 28 territories we have been working to increase efficiencies and reduce CO2 emissions, the main culprit in climate change," he said.

The development of the Ploiesti plant follows a pilot project in Hungary in 2006 which reduced CO2 emissions by 43%, equivalent to a 20% reduction across all 80 beverage production plants, well ahead of the 2020 deadline for emission reductions set by the European Union.

The soft drinks group said that the CHP plant supplies highly efficient, clean electricity as well as heat and cooling for the soft drink production facility. At the same time, clean electricity is delivered to the local grid, providing energy efficient power for the surrounding community in Ploiesti .

Coca-Cola Hellenic and ContourGlobal will open up to three plants more this year with others following in 2010 and beyond.