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South African Breweries (SAB) has announced R2.8 billion worth of expansions at two of its local breweries. The expansions will include a new packaging line for returnable glass bottles at both the Alrode and Rosslyn breweries, as well as a brewhouse at Rosslyn. According to SAB, the projects will create up to 70 additional full-time jobs.

On completion, each brewery will have a new 45 000 bottle per hour packaging line for returnable glass bottles, adding a total of four million hectolitres of capacity per year. The Alrode packaging line will be in production by August while Rosslyn’s will be online by October, SAB said.

SAB announces brewery expansionsSetebe Seabela, GM of Alrode Brewery welcomes guests to the SAB Investment Launch and takes them through the safety protocol.

“This investment will empower our employees to do what they do best, brewing the best quality beer, innovating and ensuring that we do so in a way that will drive sustainable growth. “The continuous investment shows we believe in the future of our category and that there is a lot of growth still to be had. It demonstrates the company’s agenda to invest and participate in expanding the economy,” says Ricardo Tadeu, SAB and AB-InBev Zone President for Africa.

SAB ordered the equipment for the packaging lines late last year from a supplier in Germany. The new lines can produce 660ml and 750ml bottles. In addition to this investment, a new greenfield malting plant was recently built at Alrode Brewery at a cost of R1.2 billion, expanding malting capacity by 110 0000 tonnes of malt to 150 000 tonnes of malt produced a year. Previously, SAB would import 60% of its malt requirements and the new plant has decreased this figure to close to 0%. The new malting plant has seen an additional 28 new jobs created.

Each plant will involve construction workers, civil engineers and equipment installers, taking up 4 500 square metres of space in the facilities. 400 workers will be on site at each plant at the height of construction. The project cost for Alrode Brewery, including the packaging equipment and building works, was more than R1.3 billion, while the Rosslyn expansion cost R1 5-billion.

Mduduzi Mbada, special advisor to the Gauteng Premier, welcomed the investment in the Gauteng region. “We view this as one of the biggest and most significant investments within the South African private sector. It inspires us that if we continue to work in partnership we can have success in igniting our economy. The investment is a highly welcome indicator of confidence by the private sector in the economy and is a direct response to poverty and inequality in our communities.”

Image credit: https://twitter.com/SABreweries/status/884709805792907264/photo/1

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