Saturday, February 11, 2012

SA firm plans to invest Sh6.5b in new brewery

By PAUL WAFULA pwafula@ke.nationmedia.com

SABMiller, East African Breweries Limited’s fiercest rival in the region, plans to invest $80 million (Sh6.5 billion) to set up a new brewery at its Ugandan subsidiary, Nile Breweries (NBL).

The South African firm said that its latest brewery will be constructed in Mbarara in western Uganda, one of the fastest-growing regional beer markets in the country.

“The Mbarara Brewery will double our countrywide production capacity, create a significant number of jobs in the local economy and provide a secure revenue stream for local farmers,” said Mr Mark Bowman, the managing director of SABMiller Africa, in a statement.

This is now promising to heighten the ongoing battle for control of the beer market in the region coming just months after EABL opened a similar plant in its Tanzanian subsidiary, Serengeti Breweries.

EABL also doubled the capacity of its Ugandan subsidiary at a cost of Sh1.6 billion in its Port Bell plant as both firm’s proactively race to grow their regional footprint having parted ways last year.