Zambian Breweries Plc, a subsidiary of SABMiller Plc, today announced that it will start brewing the first beer at its new K450 billion Ndola Brewery on Monday, 19th November 2012.
With the coming online of the new brewery, which is designed for an annual production capacity of 1 million hectolitres, Zambian Breweries Plc is confident that it will be able to produce sufficient beverage quantities to meet the high demand from its customers. The company has indicated that its current production capacity is insufficient to adequately serve all its’ customers across the country.
Managing Director Mr. Anele Malumo said in Lusaka today that, for the past 12 months, both the Lusaka and old Ndola Brewery have been operating at full capacity with Lusaka running at 30% above its nominal design capacity through non-stop production, which continues on weekends and public holidays. In recent weeks, however, the beer filter at the Ndola brewery developed a major technical fault due to the advanced age of the equipment and beer production had to be suspended for more than 7 days. Although significant progress has been made to resolve the issue, the resultant decrease in total company production has created a backlog in beer supply. As a consequence, the company has now had to rationally allocate supplies to all parts of the country in order to ensure that no areas are particularly disadvantaged from a supply perspective.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that we expeditiously achieve a smooth supply of the nation’s favourite alcoholic beverages to all our customers,” Mr. Malumo said.
And giving an update on the progress at the new Ndola Brewery, Technical Director, Mr. Franz Schepping, stated that the company has been running “commissioning tests” on the equipment at the new brewery over the past two weeks and everything is on course for the commencement of brewing of the first beer on Monday the 19th of November. He said the process will take approximately three weeks before the beer from the new Ndola Brewery is ready for sale to consumers.
“We will commence production at a low rate and gradually increase over the coming weeks to a rate of 10,000 hectolitres a week (approximately 400,000 hectolitres per annum) by the end of the year when the company will stop production in the old Ndola Brewery,” Schepping added.
Full production capacity in the new Ndola Brewery will be attained by April 2013 after the commissioning of a new packaging line whose installation will start in January 2013.