Crown Holdings, announced this week that its affiliate, Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East, has started construction of a new beverage can plant in North Africa.  Located in the Tunisian capital of Tunis, the plant is scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2005. Aidan Sanderson has been named general manager.

The new plant is a joint venture between Crown and Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Bros., who each hold a 50% share in the Tunisian investment.  Located in El Agba, Tunis, close to the main container port, the plant will have an initial annual capacity of 635m cans and will expand Crown's European, Middle Eastern and African beverage can business to thirteen plants across nine countries.

"The Tunis operation builds upon Crown's geographic strength in this region," explained Sanderson.  "Crown has previously supplied cans into North Africa from production facilities in Spain, Greece and Turkey.  With the Tunis plant legally established and construction underway, we look forward to supplying locally produced cans to this growing market.

"With its healthy economy, quality infrastructure and qualified workforce, we have high expectations for the Tunis plant.  We are well-situated to meet the growing demand for beverage cans throughout the extended North Africa region," Sanderson continued.

Prior to this appointment, Sanderson held the position of finance manager for Crown Bevcan Europe & Middle East.  With eight years experience in the packaging industry.