MOZAMBIQUE- Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewing company has said it is investing in a new brewery in Maputo, Mozambique whose construction is set to start second-half of 2019.

While the sum of the transaction was not disclosed, the Belgian based brewer said the new facility will have a capacity of 2-million hectoliters of beer a year, with further expansion of the facility in future.

In Mozambique, AB InBev revealed that it produces 2M and Laurentina lager brands in another facility it owns and the new brewery will help meet market demand in a country that saw 20% growth in the first-half of 2018.

“It’s a reflection of how much we have been adding on the continent, constantly aiming for growth and putting the money where our mouth is,” said Ricardo Tadeu, AB InBev’s Zone President for Africa.

According to AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, premium beer represents big opportunities for brewers since premiumisation was far behind that of wines and spirits.

“We’re very excited about Africa because we have experience in Latin America and Asia.

Some people look at Africa and see a lot of volatility, uncertainty, we see opportunity,” he said.

The company said that its new Nigerian brewery which will open later this month will see the firm become the second largest producer of beer in the country, behind Heineken controlled Nigerian Breweries, but ahead of Diageo’s Guinness Nigeria.

Investing in Africa

AB InBev had earlier said that Africa was a significant factor in buying SAB Miller, the world’s second-largest brewer measured by revenues then.

AB InBev acquired SAB Miller in 2016 for more than US$100 billion in what was the third largest acquisition in history and the largest ever in Britain, according to Financial Times.

Having divested many of the regional brands it acquired in the deal, AB InBev held on to SAB Miller’s extensive African assets.

The company has sought to expand the availability of signature brands such as Budweiser and Stella Artois, while retaining a commitment to SAB’s best sellers such as Castle Lite lager.

It announced in March that it will construct a new US$100mn brewery in Dodoma, Tanzania, with production slated to start in the second-half of 2020.

The Tanzanian investment gives it a competitive advantage against Diageo’s East African Breweries (EABL) who holds the largest market share in the neighbouring Kenya and Uganda.

It was spending over US$250 million in the construction of its new brewery located in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria, which it reiterates will open by the end of this year.