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Namibia: SABMiller brewery at Okahandja on track
Namibia: SABMiller brewery at Okahandja on track

Namibia: SABMiller brewery at Okahandja on track

FMCG SUPPLIER NEWS - Jun 20th, 15:44

WINDHOEK - The long-awaited brewery in Okahandja to be built by SABMiller took a concrete step towards fruition late last month when the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya, officiated at the ground-breaking ceremony for the new brewery.

Leading brewer SABMiller will invest N$420 million in the brewing facility. The plant, with a capacity of 260 hectolitres of beer (Castle Lager, Caste Light and Carling Black Label) per annum, mainly for the Namibian market, will be situated on 7.2 hectares of land in Okahandja's industrial area.

"Namibia is strategically located in the Southern African region. Securing export markets is crucial for our nation to achieve sustainable economic growth," said Tweya as he encouraged SABMiller to take advantage of Namibia's proximity to markets in neighbouring countries.

The deputy trade minister noted that the new brewery would promote Namibia's industrial policy, which was adopted by Parliament last year, and he encouraged SABMiller to procure as many of their production inputs as possible locally.

While SABMiller Namibia's Managing Director, Cobus Brewer, confirmed that the brewery, which was first announced in April 2010, would mainly serve the Namibian market, he did not rule out exporting the product to neighbouring countries. "This facility is mainly for the Namibian market, but we are looking at opportunities where geography will allow us to export," confirmed Bruwer.

Namibians, through Onyewu Investments (20 percent) and three charitable trusts (20 percent), will own 40 percent of the new brewery and the remaining 60 percent will belong to SAB Miller. The new brewery will create about 100 temporary jobs during construction and once completed will employ about 100 full-time staff.

Although the plant is expected to produce 260 000 hectolitres of beer per annum, it has been designed in a way that will cater for extension if necessary. The new plant will be one of SABMiller's most environmentally friendly and efficient breweries in the world and will even provide for recycling of glass bottles and 750ml returnable bottles.

Also speaking at the event, the chairman of SABMiller South Africa, Norman Adami, said there are three reasons why the company, which is one of the world's leading brewers with more than 200 beer brands and some 70 000 employees, decided to invest in Namibia. These include the fact that SABMiller believes in Namibia, believes competition is good for everyone and believes in being in Namibia for the long term. "We are not here to make a quick buck and then fade away. We are here to stay and we want to be here even after 100 years," Adami remarked.

Governor of the Otjozondjupa Region, Samuel Nuuyoma, praised SABMiller for the investment and added that small towns in Namibia are the hardest hit by poverty and unemployment. "Thank you SABMiller for creating jobs in the region and particularly in Okahandja,“ he said.

Expanding from its roots in Africa, SABMiller has built leading positions in all regions of the world in both emerging and developed markets. Last year the group's businesses sold 229 million hectolitres of lager, over 90 percent of which was sold in markets where the company is either the number one or number two brewer.

While growth and development trends in the global beer market were generally unchanged in 2011, emerging markets were still the principal source of volume growth, while developed markets faced weak consumer demand as a result of difficult economic conditions and shifting consumer trends.

During the 2011 financial year lager volumes in Africa grew by about 14 percent despite capacity constraints in a number of markets.

SABMiller projects were started in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana and South Sudan to increase capacity. The company's Castle portfolio continued to grow strongly across the region, with volumes up 27 percent during the 2011 financial year.

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