Heineken to build local brewery

4 April 2008

Amsterdam-based brewer Heineken has announced that it will build its first local brewery, to the south of Johannesburg, in partnership with spirits company Diageo, mainly to produce and bottle its Heineken and Amstel brands of beer.

The site chosen is in the Sedibeng district of Gauteng province, between the towns of Vereeniging and Alberton.

“The location of the brewery was a difficult decision based on far more than just geology, geography and infrastructure,” Heineken regional president for Africa and Middle East Tom de Man said in a statement this week.

“We are also very aware that southern Johannesburg is an area that will benefit enormously from new commercial investment, which will in turn assist and enable social and economic progress in the whole area.”

The choice in location has also enabled the company to gain strong support from the government, various development agencies and the Department of Trade and Industry.

It is anticipated that the brewery will initially create approximately 225 new, permanent jobs at all levels and a considerable number of new, service-related outsourcing opportunities.

In addition, Heineken will provide technical training for South African personnel in South Africa and abroad.

The new brewery will be 75% owned by Heineken and 25% by Diageo, who already have a joint venture business in South Africa to market and sell various alcoholic drinks, under the name of Brandhouse.

The Sedibeng site covers an area of 80 hectares while the brewery itself will have an initial capacity of three million hectolitres, with the built-in flexibility to expand.

According to Heineken, work is already under way on the site and construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2009. A local Heineken management team with significant experience in brewery construction in other markets will oversee the entire process.

“Having built 17 breweries, including 4 in Africa in the last 15 years, we fully understand the great opportunities as well as the potential challenges along the way,” said the local brewery’s general manager, Johan Doyer. “We are absolutely confident that everything is in place to ensure the successful, on time delivery of the project.”

The second site considered as a potential location for the brewery in the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality, to the northeast of Johannesburg, is still under consideration for other operations.

SAinfo reporter

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