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14.03.2012 Business & Finance

ABL commissions $2.5m Chibuku plant

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), a subsidiary of SABMiller plc, the world's second largest brewery firm, has commissioned its first outside southern Africa commercial Chibuku plant in Accra, Ghana.

The plant, which was commissioned by His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, has an annual capacity of 100,00HI, and was installed at a cost of $2.5 million.

In December 2009, Accra Brewery launched Chibuku Shake Shake, an opaque beer product that takes its cue from opaque beers that have a strong traditional heritage throughout Africa, such as pito in Ghana. At that time, the launch was done on a small scale to test consumer responses ahead of a planned full scale production.

Chibuku is the result of a long process of development, focusing on Accra Brewery's commitment to use only locally grown ingredients for its primary inputs, and to support local wealth creation. The product is, therefore, brewed from maize and sorghum grown right here in Ghana.

In his speech at the commissioning, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama stated: 'The commissioning of this plant is an important milestone, because it is the first time in the history of our nation that a product similar to our traditional brews is being packaged on such a large commercial scale. I must commend Accra Brewery and its parent company, SABMilller, for bringing such an initiative to Ghana.'

He further went on to add, 'Accra Brewery has grown from strength to strength, and must be applauded for continually being innovative, even after 80 plus years of existence.'

The Managing Director for the South African Brewery Millers in-charge of Africa, Mr. Mark Bowman, assured Ghanaians that the plant would empower subsistence farmers to step up the production to commercial levels to keep the brewery operational, and to sustain their jobs.

He said his outfit would continue to roll out new products that would create more jobs for Ghanaians, and provide quality alternative beverage products for consumers.

The Managing Director of ABL, Mr. Greg Metcalf, revealed that the company would soon come out with chibuku satchet products to make it affordable for all categories of consumers

The event, which was attended by the Africa Managing Director of SABMiller, Mark Bowman, Deputy Minister in charge of Crops at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Yaw Effah-Baasi, and the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Djama Vanderpuye, marks an important milestone, not only in the company's history, but also in the nation's economic growth path.

Also present at the event was the Adabraka Atukpai Mantse, Nii Tetteh Adjaben I, among a host of other dignitaries.

The newly-commissioned plant has the capacity to process over 200 metric tonnes of sorghum and over 300 metric tonnes of maize per annum. A minimum of 550 farmers will be supplying these locally grown raw materials.

The livelihood of 550 farmers will therefore be impacted by this one plant alone.

According to a study undertaken by Prof. Ethan Kapstein of the INSEAD Business School (in France) on the socio-economic footprint of ABL, together with its sister company, Voltic Ghana Ltd in 2011, both companies support almost 18,000 jobs in the Ghanaian economy.

That was before the addition of this 100,000HI commercial plant to the existing brewery and bottling facilities. With the addition of this Chibuku plant, ABL should be supporting about 20,000 jobs in the Ghanaian economy.

Instructively, Accra Brewery Limited, which was established in 1931, started off with one brewery and two bottling lines, producing Club Beer and Club Minerals, has seen tremendous growth over the years. With the addition of Chibuku Shake Shake, Accra Brewery now produces and has on the market 15 brands.

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