Construction is underway for one of SABMiller’s most efficient and environmentally friendly breweries.
Construction of SAB’s new 260 million litre Namibian Brewery is nearing completion. The new brewery is planned to be one of SAB’s most efficient and environmentally friendly, when it begins operations in 2015. The estimated total investment into the brewery is 420-million Namibian Dollars (approximately R 420-million).
Licence to brew
This development comes after several years of SAB’s operations in Namibia. SABMiller started importing beers into the country in 1989 through Namibia National Beverages Company (NNBC).
The company holds approximately 20% of the beer market in Namibia through its current imports and distribution. After being granted a licence to brew and bottle beer in the country in 2009, the subsidiary SABMiller Namibia (Pty) Ltd was created, and thereafter began plans for the new brewery.
The brewery site and construction
A year ago, in May 2013, ground was broken and construction began at Okahandja, 70km north of Windhoek.
The 7.2 hectare site is expected to take 18 months to complete and will employ at least 100 - largely local - people from Namibia in its construction. Further to this at least 100 full time jobs are planned to be created when the brewery begins production in mid-2015.
The build will be done on a space plan to accommodate future growth, which could open up even more opportunities for employment. While the installed capacity of the brewery is 260 000 hectolitres (26 million litres) per annum it will be possible to expand this to 400 000 hectolitres at a later stage.
SABMiller also plans to invest in a 750ml returnable bottle packaging line and warehouse facilities at the brewery.
The brewery will manufacture only 750ml bottles of Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Carling Black Label. These brands also have single serve packs (i.e. cans and 275ml/340ml bottles) which will still be imported from South Africa.
Sustainable development is integral to SABMiller’s business strategy and the company has developed specific targets to be achieved in terms of this. These targets have been taken into consideration in the planning of the new brewery.
Some results of this planning include addressing packaging issues. In the new brewery, non-returnable glass bottles and cardboard packaging will be replaced with returnable bottles and plastic crates to reduce landfill and carbon dioxide emissions.
Production is wholly local, minimising transport requirements and so further minimising carbon dioxide emissions.
While SABMiller will fund the project completely, SABMiller Namibia will be:
- 60% owned by SABSA Holdings (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of SABMiller;
- 40% by local Namibian partners comprising 20% Onyewu Investments (Pty) Ltd and 20% by three charitable trusts for the benefit of local communities.
This development promises to mark an exciting milestone in SAB’s mission to develop responsibly.
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