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President Santos and Unilever Inaugurate the most modern powder laundry detergent plant in the world in Palmira Valle del Cauca

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Palmira, August 2014 – President Juan Manuel Santos and Paul Polman, CEO of the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, announced the opening of the company’s new detergent plant in the municipality of Palmira, Valle del Cauca. The investment in the plant amounted to US$60 million. However, over the last three years, Unilever has invested US$100 million in its industrial complex in Palmira, which includes the detergent plant, a plant for personal care products and a logistics operation center. The company announced that 128 direct jobs and an additional 400 indirect jobs will be created to operate the plant.  

The industrial complex, which today begins its operations in Palmira, is the first the company has built in Latin America in 15 years and is the most modern powder laundry detergent plant in the world. The plant features advanced technology that allows for implementing quality and efficiency processes for the processing and packaging of detergents. With a production capacity of 100,000 tons a year, the plant will serve as the manufacturing center of the most recognized Colombian detergent brands, including FAB, Lavomatic and Puro. In addition to their innovative qualities and the ability to provide the best experience and washing quality, the formulation process of these products does not include the addition of phosphates.   

Moreover, with its washing products, Unilever is producing packaging that can be refilled, thereby reducing its environmental impact. Also, the company is informing consumers that one rinse is sufficient to obtain the full benefit of the detergent, thus contributing to the goal of reducing water consumption.   

“This investment reflects our confidence in the future of the country, its economy and industry,” states Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.

In its plant, Unilever boasts a comprehensive system to ensure the sustainable production of its Colombian detergent brands. The system will allow for optimizing the economic, environmental and social benefits of the Palmira region, creating an important advantage given the proximity of key suppliers and a strategic location for distributing the company’s products.  

This system is in keeping with the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, whose goal for 2020 is to improve the health and well being of a billion people worldwide, reduce Unilever’s environmental footprint and obtain 100% of its agricultural raw material in a sustainable manner. These three major objectives are reflected in the investment the company is making in the expansion and enhancement of the Palmira industrial complex. 

“This reinvestment shows that Colombia is a strategic country for companies seeking secure environments in which to operate and expand to other markets. It will contribute to the growth of national industry. Here at PROCOLOMBIA, we strive to attract investments like Unilever’s that provide development, the transfer of technology and the creation of jobs for Colombians,” explained María Claudia Lacouture, President of PROCOLOMBIA Colombia.   

The presence and operation of Unilever in Valle del Cauca and in Colombia is extremely important. The powder laundry detergent plants, the plant for personal care products and the National Logistics Center are all located in Palmira. Meanwhile, the food plant is located in Cali, and the headquarters for Colombia and Middle Americas (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and the seven Central American countries) are in Bogotá.  

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – DETERGENT PLANT

Investment

US$60 million plus U$100 million in Palmira’s industrial complex in the last 3 years

Production capacity

100,000 tons of detergent a year

Total built surface area

23,000 m2

Brands to be produced

FAB, Lavomatic and Puro

Construction time

(January 2013 to June 2014)

Commencement date of operations

August 26, 2014

Permanent jobs created

128 direct and 400 indirect

About Unilever:

Unilever is one of the leading suppliers in the world of food as well as home and personal care products, with sales in more than 190 countries. We work with 174,000 partners throughout the world. Unilever strives to create a better future each day, helping people to feel better, look better and make the most out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the most recognizable brands in the world, 14 of which are: Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Claro, helado de Wall, Lux Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx; and in Colombia: Knorr, AdeS, Lipton, Rama, Fab, Maizena, Sedal, Dove, Lux, Rexona, Axe, Pond’s, Vasenol and Fruco.

We are firmly committed to helping more than one billion people take steps to improve their health and wellbeing through the sustainable supply of all our agricultural raw materials by the year 2020. See more in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/ 
 For more information about Unilever and its product brands, please visit www.unilever.com

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