Zambian Breweries is on course to start operations at its US$32 million (K224 million) malting plant in the Lusaka South Multi
Facility Export Zone (MFEZ) in the first quarter of next year.
Construction work on the new factory, which will process locally grown barley into the malt base for brewing the company’s Mosi and Castle beer, was inspected by Deputy Minister of Finance Hon. Christopher Mvunga yesterday, accompanied by MFEZ managing director Dr Fortune Kamusaki.
“Zambian Breweries has been a good partner and we look forward to having them as our lifetime partners in developing Zambia,” said Mr Mvunga. “What they are clearly demonstrating is what we are talking about potential. This is a clear testimony that we are putting it into reality.”
Work on the new maltings plant began in January this year and production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016. 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 a surplus that can be exported, explained Technical Director Franz Schepping, who
explained the processes to the minister.
The plant will enable Zambian Breweries to add value within Zambia to barley – all of which is bought from local farmers in Zambia. Currently the company exports its barley to Zimbabwe for malting and then imports it back to
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 company’s multi-million dollar investment in the malting plant is part of the group’s wider commitment to long-term investment in Zambia, which would be extended further depending on the group’s profitability, explained Zambia Breweries corporate affairs director Ezekiel Sekele, who added that the company’s operational and financial performance had been negatively impacted in the last year following a rise in excise tax of 50 percent, from 40 percent to 60 percent.