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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

SabMiller engulfing the EA beer market

10th February 2012

Sabmiller, the world’s second largest brewer is entrenching its market share is East Africa by building a new firm in Uganda.

Already with 58 per cent stakes in Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL), the brewer anticipates to up employment to over 25, 000 people in the region with construction of the new firm.

A press statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday said the USD80m investment at its Nile Basin Breweries Limited (NBL) would double the company’s design capacity to 3.6m hectoliters next year.

The new brewery will be constructed in Mbarara in Western Uganda, the fastest-growing regional beer market in the country, with the site chosen as the optimum location to meet the increasing local demand, it said.

The development of the new brewery, according to the brewer, follows a USD29m investment to expand capacity at the presnt Jinja site in 2009 and a cumulative USD25.6m investment to develop malting and effluent treatment plants in 2011.

The total Ugandan beer market is also in significant growth, up 28 percent last year, driven by strong economic growth and population expansion.

However the statement noted that average per capita beer consumption is still relatively low at around 8 litres per year, compared to around 60 litres in South Africa.

The Mbarara site would employ around 140 people directly and will brew the bulk of NBL’s portfolio of beers, including Nile Special, Club Pilsener, Eagle Extra and Eagle Lager, it said.

It is anticipated that the plant would provide an additional market opportunity for farmers in the Ankole and Kigezi regions, near Mbarara.

Mark Bowman, Managing Director of SABMiller Africa, said in a statement that the undertaking is a tremendous development for Nile Breweries and demonstrates their commitment to further investing in Africa.

“The Mbarara brewery will double our country-wide production capacity, create a significant number of jobs in the local economy and provide a secure revenue stream for local farmers,” he said.

He said the expansion is also testament to the success of “our local raw material sourcing strategy in Uganda, which has provided a blueprint for other operations across Africa, most recently with the world’s first commercial cassava-based beer in Mozambique.”

The development site is on the banks of the River Rwizi which will provide the water source for the brewery.

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