TANZANIA – Serengeti Breweries, a subsidiary of East African Breweries Ltd (EABL), has embarked on a TZS 28.1 bn (US$12m) expansion project of its Dar es Salaam brewing plant to increase its beer production.

The expansion project is also set to create job opportunities for the Tanzanians in different capacities and also increase income earnings for the local farmers who are the main suppliers of the raw materials.

 “This expansion not only means getting additional beer production capacity for us, but it also brings more job opportunities to Tanzanians and creates further demand for barley, maize and sorghum which the company sources from local farmers,” said SBL Managing Director, Mark Ocitti.

Having operations in three of its breweries in Dar es Salaam, Moshi and Mwanza, SBL currently employs over 800 people both directly and indirectly and thousands of other beneficiaries including distributors, transporters, farmers, bar outlet owners.

The SBL Managing Director further noted that the beer brewer sources barley, maize and sorghum for its raw materials locally and until end of last year, the company had grown its cereals uptake from zero to 15,000 metric tonnes of grain.

“This is equivalent to 60 per cent of SBL’s total raw materials requirement for beer production per year,” he added.

With its flagship brand Serengeti Premium Lager, which was the first beer to be made of 100% malt in the local market, the brewer consolidated its grip of the market with the launch of Serengeti Premium Lite recently which again was the first lite beer introduced to the market in 2017.

SBL was founded by Tanzanian entrepreneurs in 1996 with one brewery located in Dar es Salaam. 

Between 2010 and 2013 the company’s ownership structure changed with the coming on board of regional alcohol manufacturer, East African Breweries Limited and a global beverage producer, Diageo, which has since injected further investments by opening two additional breweries in Mwanza and Moshi.

The company in parallel has expanded its product portfolio with additional new leading beer brands such as Pilsner Lager, Tusker Lager, Guinness and Senator and of late – Serengeti Premium Lite.

SBL also distributes in the Tanzanian market some of Diageo’s International Premium Spirits brands such as Johnnie Walker, Gordons, Smirnoff, Black and While among others.

Recently, Serengeti Breweries entered into a new deal with its majority shareholder, East African Breweries (EABL) where it will see its minority investors inject an additional Sh3.2 billion (US$30.8m) capital into the breweries.

This follows the conversion of the Sh15.3 billion (US$147.2m) loan into equity in a transaction that sought to ease the Tanzanian brewer’s debt burden.

This will result to EABL’s economic interest in Serengeti revert to the original 51% status from 72.5% attained.