The Riverhorse Valley investment in Durban is the companys fifth plant in South Africa

The Riverhorse Valley investment in Durban is the company's fifth plant in South Africa

Unilever has today (9 December) opened its fifth manufacturing plant in South Africa, in a bid to drive growth in the emerging market.

The company said it has invested ZAR670m (US$81.9m) in the factory in Riverhorse Valley in Durban to boost Unilever's capacity for savoury food products. It will aim to meet increasing demand for Knorr, Robertson's, Knorrox, Aromat and Rajah branded products in South Africa and across the African continent, Unilever said.

Unilever's chief supply chain officer Pier Luigi Sigismondi added: "This new facility will enhance Unilever's ambitious growth plans for South Africa, an important market in which we have strong category positions across our portfolio, as we do across the whole of Africa."

The plant in Durban is part of a EUR500m (US$668.8m), five-year investment programme in South Africa to allow Unilever to drive what it called "sustainable and profitable growth". The plant is expected be in full production by the first quarter of 2012.

Unilever said it intends to build 30 new factories around the world by 2015, as part of a EUR5bn investment programme.