ZAMBIA – Zambian Breweries (ZB) Plc’s US$33 million malting plant in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (LS-MFEZ) is expected to be completed by close of the year.

The construction of the malting plant is anticipated to increase the proportion of locally-sourced raw materials and support the development of about 40 commercial farmers in Lusaka, Mkushi and Chisamba.

ZB corporate affairs director Ezekiel Sekele said the construction of the plant will make SABMiller’s malted barley operations fully self-sufficient and is expected to save the company nearly US$10 million in annual import costs.

In an interview on Monday, Mr Sekele said the company used to import barley from Europe which resulted in revenue loss for the country.

“The malting plant has reached an advanced stage of construction in the LS-MFEZ area, and we would like to applaud Government’s efforts of ensuring that businesses such as ourselves are provided with the enabling environment to register sustainable development.

“We used to import barley from Europe. But what we have done in partnership with Government and farmers is that we have stepped forward and come up with import substitution.

The next level in our growth is to start processing barley into malt and by the end of this year we should be able to see a completely finalised structure,” he said.

Mr Sekele said currently the company is processing barley in Zimbabwe, and that by end of this year, they should be able to start processing locally.

Zambian Breweries started the construction of a malting plant in the MFEZ in the second half of 2014, and that the plant is expected to have an annual capacity of about 18,000 tonnes of processed barley into malt.

He said the company is committed to working with and complementing Government’s efforts of creating jobs for the locals, as well contributing to economic development.

September 15, 2016;