Heineken Brewery NV, the Dutch-based global giant, applied for a loan provision of close to 3 billion birr from the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE)
for the construction of its new brewery plant in Addis Ababa and expansion of its two breweries – Harar and Bedele – it acquired from the government last year.
Meanwhile, Juneydi Basha, who served Harar brewery as its GM for the past two decades and has been there since its formation in 1984, resigned from his position in the past week. Sources at CBE told Capital that the global giant submitted its loan request about four weeks ago.
Heineken, that joined the Ethiopian beer industry purchasing local breweries – Harar and Bedele -in August 2011 through the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Agency (PPESA), plans to erect a large brewery around Akaki, on the outskirts of Addis Ababa at a cost of 100 million Euros. For the realization of this project, called ‘Addis Green Field,’ Heineken has requested a 2.2 billiona birr loan from CBE, according to our sources at the state-owned bank.
Johan Doyer, general manager of Heineken Breweries SC told Capital that his company is in negotiations with CBE to secure the loan.
Recently, he told journalists that Heineken will start producing its international brands from its new production centre in eastern Addis Ababa. He also noted that, in addition to Heineken and Amstel, the Addis Green Field plant will produce the Harar and Bedele brands.
The capacity of the new brewery will be three million hectolitres per annum, though in the first phase it will produce 1.5 million hectolitre.
According to our sources, Heineken has also requested a loan provision for the expansion of its two breweries. Bedele needs 400 million birr for its expansion and Harar brewery requires 350 million birr.
According to the feasibility study conducted by Heineken, the production capacity of the two breweries will grow by 150,000 hectolitres per annum, each. Currently, the annual production of the two breweries is 300,000 hectolitres each.
Heineken bought the two breweries at a total cost of 163.4 million dollar from PPESA in 2011.
Bedele Brewery, 483km west of Addis, is popular for its three brands, Bedele, Bedele Special and Bedele Choice. Harar Brewery, located in the historical city of Harar, 525km east of Addis, has also three brands, Harar, Hakim Stout and Harar Sofi a non alcoholic ‘beer’.
Juneydi Basha, who just resigned from his position as GM at Harar Brewery, had recently said that the new expansion will be built in the existing brewery compound. The total area of the company, established 28 years ago, is 112, 534 sqm.
When the brewery was under PPESA, it proposed expansion projects, but the plans were not implemented due to lack of capital. The Green Field project of Heineken was originally studied by Harar Brewery some seven years ago, when the brewery was controlled by PPESA.
Harar’s expansion study, which had been known as ‘Addis Green Field’ was initially planned to be erected around Dukem area, on the eastern outskirts of Addis.
According to the study the new beer plant will produce canned beer, which is not currently produced in the country.
The general manager of Heineken declared recently that the new brewery known as the Green Field project will play a major role in improving the lucrative beer industry in the country.
Heineken’s beer plant, when built, will be the second largest brewery in Addis Ababa with BGI Ethiopia retaining its top spot. The biggest brewery in the country, BGI Ethiopia produces three types of beer; St. George, Amber and Castel.
Meta Abo brewery, located 26Km west of Addis, is the other major beer maker close to the capital and is currently owned by Diageo after the London based company bought it at a cost of 225 million dollars. Diageo is already undertaking an expansion of 50 million dollars.
Juneydi Basha, the former general manager of Harar Brewery, told Capital that he resigned from his position because he needed to rest, refuting rumours that there were differences between him and the management of Heineken. Juneydi, who is also vice president of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association for the past four years, is a popular figure known for his involvement in sports and other activities. According to our sources, the former general manager left his position as of Wednesday December 05.