HEINEKEN officially inaugurated its new brewery at a greenfield site in Kilinto on the outskirts of Addis Abeba on Jan. 15th. The state of the art brewery was unveiled in a ceremony attended by 300 guests including Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, and Mrs Charlene de Carvalho of Heineken, and hosted by Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of HEINEKEN. Guests were invited to tour the site and to hear opening addresses from the Prime Minister, Mr. Van Boxmeer and Johan Doyer, Managing Director of HEINEKEN Ethiopia.
With a total capacity of 1.5m hectolitres, the Kilinto brewery is already producing the recently launched Walia® beer together with Bedele® and Harar® beer brands. It is planned that the site will also brew other brands including the flagship Heineken® beer.
Employing around 280 people, drawn from the local workforce, the new facility complements the already established Bedele and Harar breweries; which were acquired from the Ethiopian government in 2011. The EUR110mln new brewery is part of a total EUR310mln investment in the country by HEINEKEN since 2011.
With this enhanced production footprint, HEINEKEN Ethiopia will be well placed to further develop its portfolio of high quality beers that will meet growing demand in the country.
Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn commented “HEINEKEN’s investment underscores the belief and confidence that the foreign investment community has in our country as a credible and safe investment destination. I also want to acknowledge HEINEKEN’s commitment to address key social issues such responsible consumption messages, clean water availability and sustainable local sourcing; as well as health and safety issues in and around its breweries.”
Speaking at the opening, Jean-François van Boxmeer commented: “Our inauguration marks the latest chapter in our Africa story which began over 100 years ago. Today, we are a proud partner for growth in the region, investing ahead of the curve, and with a long-term ambition to create sustainable businesses. This is certainly the case in Ethiopia, which is progressively unlocking its natural potential for its people, and bringing prosperity to both the cities and agricultural regions. Through our local barley sourcing project, we can be certain that the positive effects of our investment here spread well beyond the brewery gates. The CREATE project that we announced in 2013, where the partners share the goals of improving the income of smallholder barley farmers and improving access to markets, will help us to increase our local sourcing of malt barley.”
Johan Doyer, Managing Director of HEINEKEN Ethiopia, added: “This new facility, which more than doubles our potential output, will enable us to satisfy rising demand for local and international brands. In 2014, we launched our Walia® beer brand and its success has shown that the beer category in Ethiopia has huge potential. This modern, flexible and efficient brewery will help us meet that demand and to bring new and exciting products to market. Importantly, we have recruited local talent and will build the skills and capability of a committed workforce. With the opening of this brewery, HEINEKEN Ethiopia has now reached a key milestone. Our next challenge is to prepare for the production of our flagship Heineken® beer which will provide a super-premium choice for our consumers and trade customers.”