Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Dr Debretsion Gebremichael joined Chief Executive of Diageo Plc., Ivan Menezes, to inaugurate Meta Abo Brewery’s $119m USD expansion in Sebeta on Wednesday Feb. 25th 2015. The expansion brings Diageo’s investment to a US$344 million, making the largest in Africa.
According to Diageo, the new investment tripled the annual capacity of the brewery to 1.7m HL just three years after acquisition, ensuring that the brewery can meet future consumer demand and support the introduction of new product innovations to the Ethiopian market such as Zemen Lager Beer launched by Meta Abo in December 2014.
The commissioning included a ribbon cutting ceremony by Dr. Debretsion and Ivan Menezes, in Meta’s newest bottling line. “The German-manufactured Krones bottling line uses state of the art technology, including flash pasteurization, to package products without any human intervention – achieving even higher quality control and upgrading the brewery’s packaging capacity by nearly 50%” Diageo said in a statement sent to Addis Standard. “The new line is highly efficient, reducing waste and the amount of water used in the brewing process.”
At the commissioning ceremony, Ivan Menezes said, “We are now celebrating three years since the acquisition of Meta Abo and are proud to have arrived at another significant milestone in our brewery’s growth with the commissioning of the new production line.”
According to Ivan Menezes the day marked an “exciting new chapter in our journey here in Ethiopia as we look ahead to the next three years and beyond. Ethiopia is a country of enormous opportunity. Our commitment here, and to Africa as a whole, is absolute. We will continue to invest in the long-term growth of our brands, the Meta business, our people and the communities in which we operate, for the benefit of all.”
Following the brewery commissioning, Meta also inaugurated its newest Water of Life project in Sebeta – part of Meta’s flagship Water of Life program which has provided 50,000 beneficiaries in Ethiopia with access to clean drinking water. The new project will provide clean water to 2,000 households in Sebeta through a borehole that the community will independently manage.
Since Diageo’s acquisition of Meta Abo Brewery in January 2012, the company has adhered to a clear strategy with the aim of transforming the brewing industry in Ethiopia. Over the last 3 years Diageo has invested in Meta Abo employees with training and skills development; supported local communities through provision of clean water and forming close partnerships with local farmers; re-launched the Meta brand and now tripled capacity at the brewery all in support of the future growth of Meta Abo, the statement added.