Brew­ery un­veils M400m re­fur­bish­ment

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

MALUTI Moun­tain Brew­ery ( MMB) has scaled up its pro­duc­tion ef­fi­ciency by ex­pand­ing and mod­ernising its plant at a cost of over M400 mil­lion.

The brew­ery un­veiled the re­fur­bished plant last Fri­day dur­ing an event at­tended by Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa and other high rank­ing pub­lic, pri­vate and civil so­ci­ety of­fi­cials.

The re­fur­bished com­po­nents of the plant in­clude the pack­ag­ing sec­tion where the beer bot­tle washer, filler, la­beller, pas­teuriser, con­vey­ers and new can­ning lines for both beer and soft drinks were up­graded.

In the brew­ing house, new tech­nol­ogy to op­ti­mize ca­pac­ity, a new yeast di­lu­tion plant, a new ef­flu­ent treat­ment plant and a new yeast au­tol­y­sis plant have been in­stalled, while a beer fil­ter was also up­graded.

MMB Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Thomas Mpedi said the re­fur­bish­ment would re­duce main­te­nance costs and in­crease pro­duc­tion ef­fi­ciency to meet mar­ket de­mand es­pe­cially dur­ing peak pe­ri­ods.

“Over the past four years, we have in­vested over M400 mil­lion in re­fur­bish­ing the plant, which has elim­i­nated a myr­iad of chal­lenges we have ex­pe­ri­enced over the years, in par­tic­u­lar dur­ing peak pe­ri­ods when we could not meet mar­ket de­mand,” he said.

“We are proud to say that over the past two years, we have been able to sat­isfy de­mand, our num­bers also tell the story.”

Mr Mpedi also re­vealed the state-of-theart equip­ment em­anated from Ger­man and Ital­ian firms, adding the in­vest­ment would cre­ate jobs for Ba­sotho.

“This mile­stone in our busi­ness en­ables us to con­trib­ute more to the econ­omy of Le­sotho, through jobs, taxes, and en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment by our re­tail­ers and sup­pli­ers,” he added.

MMB’S Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor Al­fred Ba­lik­a­gira in­di­cated the re­fur­bish­ment had in­creased the com­pany’s fac­tory ef­fi­ciency from 60 to 70 per­cent.

He said the ef­fi­ciency max­imised out­puts from given inputs while min­imis­ing their costs.

Mr Ba­lik­a­gira also in­di­cated the taste of their beer had also im­proved as a re­sult of the re­fur­bish­ment.

“We have a global beer tast­ing panel for our re­gion based in Jo­han­nes­burg where we sub­mit our beer sam­ples ev­ery month. The rat­ing on their scale is from one to 10, and our beers have con­tin­u­ously main­tained a taste rat­ing of above nine up from be­tween seven to eight we had in the past be­fore the in­vest­ment” he said.

For his part, Mr Setipa said as a share­holder in MMB, gov­ern­ment con­sid­ered the brew­ery a jewel in its crown and one of their strate­gic in­vest­ments that had per­formed very well over the years.

“This in­vest­ment will only serve to en­hance that per­for­mance,” he said, adding the gov­ern­ment would con­tinue to sup­port com­pany to foster the eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment of Ba­sotho.

Mr Setipa said his min­istry was in con­stant dis­cus­sions with the other share­hold­ers of the com­pany to­wards in­creas­ing MMB’S pro­cure­ment of raw ma­te­ri­als from Le­sotho com­pa­nies.

Mean­while, Mr Mpedi also an­nounced that MMB had been ac­quired by new share­hold­ers, An­heuser-busch Inbev NV (ab­bre­vi­ated as AB Inbev), which is a global bev­er­age and brew­ing com­pany from Bel­gium.

“The com­pany share­hold­ing has evolved over time, and today we in­tro­duce AB Inbev to MMB’S share­hold­ers. Sixty one per­cent of MMB is owned lo­cally, with the re­main­der of 39 per­cent owned by AB Inbev who also man­age the com­pany,” he said.

“AB Inbev which is the world’s largest brewer by vol­ume, took over Sabmiller (the world’s sec­ond largest brewer by vol­ume) on Oc­to­ber 10th this year to form an even big­ger com­pany, and the only truly global brew­ing com­pany now con­trol­ling 30 per­cent of the world’s al­co­hol vol­umes, and the only brew­ing com­pany rep­re­sented in all the con­ti­nents around the globe. Be­cause of this take over, AB Inbev is now the world’s largest FMCG (fast-mov­ing con­sumer goods) com­pany by rev­enue and prof­itabil­ity in the world.”

Mr Mpedi also said the new share­holder brought in a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and diver­sity to.

“MMB is proud to be a part of the AB InBev fam­ily, which presents op­por­tu­ni­ties for Ba­sotho to par­tic­i­pate in set­ting trends across the world,” he said.

Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa (left) and MMB Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Thomas Mpedi un­veil a plaque to com­mem­o­rate the newly-re­fur­bished plant.

FROM LEFT: TRC di­rec­tor Tšoeu Pet­lane, Mr Setipa, Mr Mpedi and Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Fusi No­toane dur­ing the tour.

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