Sidel to install PET water bottling line for Barzman National by Jan. 2014 at company's existing production facility in Muscat, Oman; line will initially produce water in 0.25-, 0.5- and 1-liter formats at speeds of up to 22,000 bottles/hour

HUNENBERG, Switzerland , October 1, 2013 (press release) – Sidel has recently partnered with a new customer in the Sultanate of Oman, Barzman National (LLC), for a complete PET water bottling line.

Barzman, one of the leading domestic producers in the Omani market, first approached Sidel in 2012 looking for a fast, high capacity production line with durability and sustainable efficiency. An order was eventually placed following long, detailed and considered discussions with the first-time customer, for a Sidel Combi water bottling line.

The line, to be installed in January 2014, will initially produce water in 0.25, 0.5 and 1 litre formats at speeds of up to 22,000 bottles per hour. It will be installed at the customer's existing production facility in Muscat.

Increased demand for bottled water

In Oman, demand for bottled water is currently increasing due to a growing awareness of diet and health-consciousness amongst consumers. Trends in the country are presently showing an apparent shift from soft drinks to water and juices, as they do in many other parts of the world. With employment levels in the Sultanate high and personal levels of income rising, demand for bottled water is increasing rapidly and most producers there are looking to increase capacity. Another trend within the Omani beverages market reflected elsewhere throughout the world is the movement towards the lightweighting of packaging, in terms of both bottles and caps.

Maximising share of growing market

Barzman National (LLC) is a market leader in bottled water inOman, supplying "pure natural water". However, product choice amongst many consumers there is driven mostly by price. One other factor in the purchasing decision appears to be simple availability at the point of purchase. There is little or no product or brand loyalty and little appreciation of the differences between "natural spring water" or "purified tap water". Other than retailers, Barzman National supplies to wholesalers, hypermarkets, mini-markets, the corporate sector, government institutions, the banking sector, schools, hospitals and other private and self-labelling distributors. The company had reached its optimal production capacity and was therefore looking at ways of increasing it.

Proximity of support a significant factor

The Omani company chose Sidel after meeting with the company's Zonal Vice President and the team who worked on the deal for months led by Talha Taha at Sidel's new regional headquarters inDubai, which were only opened at an inaugural ceremony last September 2013.

The offices are located in the heart ofDubaiwhich is fast becoming an important hub for the industry. Speaking about the longer term opportunities for the Greater Middle East and Africa regions, Clive Smith, Zone Vice President at Sidel for Greater Middle East andAfrica, said: "We see excellent prospects for Sidel in the region to support our customers. In many ways the markets here are at a similar level of maturity with customers facing many similar challenges. This means we can focus the expertise we have built over 150 years on helping them meet those challenges with complete service and line solutions across PET, glass and can and all product categories." The proximity of Sidel's facility only551 kilometresaway in the UAE and its support from more than 90 employees to provide front line services to customers in the region was yet another decisive factor in Barzman choosing the Sidel line.

Saif Al-Noumani, Chief Executive Officer at Barzman, comments: "We approached Sidel because we realised the company is an international leader in supplying full water bottling lines and - with their opening an office in nearby Dubai - we knew that 'before' and 'after' sales support would be close at hand whenever needed. Accordingly, we are expecting excellent production and service support from Sidel when production starts in2014." He concluded: "We remain very impressed by the company in general and the Sidel Matrix™ filler in particular. We eagerly await the commencement of its full-time operation."

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