Coca-Cola Amatil Thebarton bottling sites sold

But Amatil "here to stay" with retention of 170 South Australian jobs.

Coca-Cola Amatil today announced the sale of its iconic former bottling facility at Port Road Thebarton to an Adelaide development company with plans to reactivate the site as office space and warehousing, and then for residential use.

Amatil’s Group General Manager of Property Mr Matt Toohey said the main manufacturing lot on Port Road had been sold to Australasian Property Developments Pty Ltd. A smaller adjoining site had been sold to industrial supplier Jetwave Pty Ltd, with a third site sold to Anglicare South Australia in 2018. Individual sale prices were not disclosed.

“We operated from Thebarton for 66 years and produced more than 10 billion bottles right here,” Mr Toohey said

“This site has been a huge part of Adelaide’s working history, and we’re happy it will now be reactivated to go on supporting commercial, industrial and construction jobs.

“We’re keeping our own 170-strong South Australian team in Salisbury, country SA and at our new headquarters in Stirling Street Thebarton.

“And as we said last year, we’re proud to have been a big part of South Australia’s history and equally proud to be a part of its future.”

Managing Director of Australasian Property Developments, Mr Pep Rocca, said he intended todraw income from the existing improvements in the short to medium term, and progress the site for redevelopment for a mix of commercial and residential use in coming years Managing Director Mr Roy Seco said Jetwave would use their new site for industrial activities including the manufacturing and importing of high-pressure cleaning equipment and industrial wet and dry vacuum cleaners.

The current and future uses of the sites are in line with rezoning from Industrial to Mixed Use under the City of West Torrens Urban Corridor Zone.

Coca-Cola Amatil has around 170 employees in South Australia, including country sales teams. Team members in Adelaide are principally employed in equipment servicing, distribution, sales and IT.

The Coca-Cola Amatil plant in Thebarton was a popular location for school visits between 1955 and the mid-2000s. Originally on the outskirts of town, the Thebarton site became increasingly constrained by adjoining developments and housing, and was identified in 2017 as no longer suitable for modernisation.

Bottling ceased at the site in December 2018 with production relocating to new or expanded Amatil facilities in Western Australia and Queensland. Amatil worked closely with employees over the 18-month transition period, to help them find new work.

Some equipment from Thebarton has been redeployed to other Amatil sites including the ‘blowfill’ line to Papua New Guinea and other equipment to Richlands which now supplies all glass bottled beverages for Australia. One of Thebarton’s alcohol tanks was relocated to Moorabbin Victoria in 2019.

Coca-Cola Amatil continues to manufacture beverages around Australia at Kewdale WA, Moorabbin Victoria, Northmead in New South Wales and Richlands Queensland.

Coca-Cola Amatil at Thebarton – historical points:
  • Prior to 1952, SKF Bearings, Bushels Tea and Rofe & Co occupied the Thebarton site.
  • The bottling facility was popular for school visits from the mid 1950’s to the early 2000’s, with more half of all year 7 students in Adelaide visiting each year.
  • The Thebarton facility was once the sole Australian bottler for Powerade, and Jim Beam.
  • At the time of closing, the longest serving manufacturing employee was Craig Bollenhagen who started on site fresh out of school on 5 December 5 1977. His father Ross also worked at CocaCola Amatil from when the site first opened in Adelaide.
  • The Adelaide Collector’s Club is one of the most active Coca-Cola Collector’s Clubs in Australia, meeting monthly.
  • More than 580 million cases of drinks have been made at Thebarton since 1952, comprising around 6 billion litres of beverages