Zambian Breweries’s US$33 million maltings plant is now ready for commissioning following the successful testing of its barley acceptance systems at the Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone.
Company Director of Corporate Affairs Ezekiel Sekele said the plant is part of the group’s continuing investment plan in Zambia and is set to boost purchases of barley from local farmers as a key ingredient in the company’s popular Mosi, Castle and Castle Lite Lagers.
The company’s multi-million-dollar commitment to the maltings plant is part of the group’s wider commitment to investment in Zambia, spurred by the government’s reduction in excise tax on clear beer in last year’s Budget.
In the last five years Zambian Breweries, National Breweries and Heinrich’s Syndicate, which are now part of AB InBev, have invested more than 400 million DOLLARS in long-term capital projects.
The new facility – the first of its kind in Zambia – will enable locally grown barley to be processed into malt, the main ingredient for clear beer, for the first time in Zambia, creating more business for farmer suppliers who provide the brewery with barley thus spurring economic growth, job creation and national development, explained Managing Director Annabelle Degroot.
The plant has a maximum capacity of 15,000 tonnes of finished malt per year, creating a surplus over the brewery’s current demand of 10,000 tonnes and thus producing excess supply that can be exported.
The barley will be stored in ten massive 1,500 tonne-silos, each 32 metres high, which involved the country’s largest single pour of concrete – 1,800 cubic metres – for their foundations.
The group’s investments are helping it to grow production volumes, thus increasing employment opportunities, enabling the company to buy more agricultural commodities such as barley, maize, sorghum and cassava from local suppliers and boost sales, thus increasing overall tax revenue to the government.