TANZANIA – Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL), Tanzanian subsidiary of East Africa Breweries Limited, has commissioned its first spirits production plant worth Tsh15.6 billion (US$6.7m) at its facility in Moshi.
The move is aimed to shift Tanzania from being a net importer of spirit drinks to a local producer.
Marking its debut, the company has started by production of a local brand known as Bongo Don, which SBL described as being a truly local product of world-class quality.
“The new spirits production facility will produce mainstream spirit products locally and, in so doing, enable SBL to become more competitive in the spirits business,” said SBL Managing Director Mark Ocitti.
The new facility is part of the alcohol manufacturer’s three-year expansion journey in the country which commenced in 2019.
Under the plan, with an aggregate cost of Tsh 166 billion (US$71m), SBL also seeks to boost beer production at all its three breweries located in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Moshi.
“This expansion will create increased demand for cereals that SBL sources from local growers of maize, barley and sorghum for beer production.
“It will create more direct and indirect job opportunities and expand the firm’s product distribution footprint nationally,” added Ocitti.
The SBL boss stated that the expansion will also generate more revenue for Treasury in terms of taxes, fees and levies.
Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa while unveiling the spirits manufacturing plant commended SBL for the additional investment, which he said would improve the livelihoods of its stakeholders and stimulate economic development.
He reiterated the government’s resolve to creating a conducive investment environment in the country to attract both foreign and local investments.
SBL is set for a major expansion drive following the recent acquisition of additional stake by its parent company, giving it majority ownership of 85%.
The company’s sister company, Kenya Breweries Limited recently unveiled plans of injecting Ksh1 billion (US$9.2m) in the establishment of a new spirit processing line, in a bid to meet the high demand witnessed in the segment.
The investment will be used to acquire new line machinery and expand storage capacity at UDV Kenya.
This will enable KBL to begin local production of new international spirit brands, while ramping up volumes of those already being produced in the country – such as Gilbey’s and Smirnoff Red Vodka.
The firm says that demand for spirits has been growing faster than that of beer and the trend has been reinforced since the onset of Covid-19, justifying the need for an additional spirits line.