Big things brewing in Bay for SAB
A new R438m production line and accompanying infrastructure for the production of South African Breweries’ recently introduced 1-litre Castle Lager and Carling Black Label returnable glass bottles was unveiled at the company’s Ibhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
The state-of-the-art packaging line – onto which Castle Lite’s 910ml returnable glass bottles are expected to be introduced from early 2019 – was revealed to media and dignitaries, including Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle and Eastern Cape Liquor Board CEO KC Maneli, at the facility in Perseverance.
SAB zone president Ricardo Tadeu and Ibhayi Breweries plant manager Bogart Butler also participated.
Fourteen new jobs were created at the SAB and AB inBev Africa-owned brewery.
Twelve of the 14 new positions at Ibhayi Brewery are now occupied by women.
The capital expenditure, which also included a new warehouse, has added a second production line to the facility and will allow the brewery to effectively double its production capacity in the short term, and allow for expansion.
The capital investment is over and above the public interest commitments made by AB InBev to the SA government at the time of its business merger with SABMiller at the end of 2016.
The commitments involve AB InBev investing R1bn into SA agriculture, entrepreneurship and societal benefits over the next five years.
“Fixed investment, which leads to confidence, is one of the key components needed to drive economic growth in a country,” Tadeu said.
“This helps to create jobs and encourages foreign investment, which is not going to happen if domestic investment does not take place.
“At the onset of the global business combination between SABMiller and AB InBev the agenda was one of growth and investment.
“A commitment was made to grow and make a real difference in SA and this commitment has been accelerated through the investment at Ibhayi Brewery.”
Masualle said the investment was particularly welcome in light of the challenges faced by the national and provincial economies over the past few financial quarters.
“We appreciate this new development by SAB and AB InBev,” Masualle, who also expressed appreciation for the company’s efforts to employ more women, said.
Butler said the new 6,000m² line added an annual capacity of 500,000 hectolitres to the current approximately 1.8m hectolitre capacity of Ibhayi Brewery for 2018/2019.
“The full capability of the new line is to produce an additional 1.8m hectolitres of beer per year, which would bring Ibhayi Brewery’s annual capacity to close on 3.6m hectolitres of beer when in full operation,” he said.
“Another 40 people are expected to be employed when the line operates at its full capacity and volumes are increased over the coming years.”
He said the new line produced the Castle and Carling Black Label products at a rate of 34,500 bottles an hour.
READY TO GO: The new production line at the SAB Ibhayi brewery in Perseverance
KEEPING TRACK: An Ibhayi Brewery employee works on the recycling packaging production line