Dubai: The National Food Products Company (NFPC) is consolidating its production facilities in a Dh1.5 billion “mega facility” investment in the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), the company announced on Sunday.

Fady Antonios, NFPC Chief Executive Officer and President and Khaled Salmeen, Kizad Chief Executive Officer, signed a 50 year Musataha agreement at Gulfood in Dubai to move NFPC’s production facilities to the industrial zone.

A Musataha agreement is long-term bankable agreement that entitles the lease holder to use the asset to raise capital. NFPC is the company behind brands Oasis, Blu, Milco, Lacnor, and Gulf & Safa.

The Abu Dhabi-based food, beverage and packaging company secured 45 per cent of the Dh1.5 billion from international banks, Antonios said, 55 per cent will come from NFPC capital.

NFPC, behind some of the region’s well-known food and beverage brands, is close to capacity at its current production facilities. Antonios said that the company would struggle to grow in line with market demands beyond 2016 without the Kizad expansion.

The development, across 8,093, 469 square feet (751,908 square metres), is part of NFPC’s plan to double its capacity by 2020. Work on the facility is expected to begin the second quarter this year and it will open to end of 2016.

The Dh1.5 billion is an initial investment and the facility’s capacity can be expanded after 2017. The current investment occupies 60 per cent of the built up area NFPC has signed on for at Kizad.

NFPC plans to acquire local food companies in 2014 as part of its growth strategy, Antonios said, and is currently in talks to enter into international ventures in the coming months. He would not say what companies NFPC is in discussions with.

Salmeen said it is clear that the NFPC is a market leader and will be the “anchor tenant” in Kizad’s food and beverage cluster. Salmeen did not say how many food and beverage companies have signed on to operate out of the industrial zone, however, did say it was an important industry that Kizad is looking to attract more companies from.

“I think it’s obvious that we are participating in this exhibition (Gulfood) [and it is] a very clear signal to the market that there is a food cluster that is part of Kizad,” he said.

“Our presences here for the first time [at Gulfood] is a clear testament we are dedicated to this market,” he added.