SABMiller will open a second brewing plant in Uganda at a cost of $80 million (Shs1.8 trillion), taking its ongoing beer war with Diageo affiliate East African Breweries Limited to a new high.
The new plant, according to SABMiller will see the Nile Breweries subsidiary double its capacity to 360 million litres by 2013.
EABL recently doubled the capacity of its Port Bell subsidiary plant at Shs43.2 billion, thus SABMiller’s move is set to intensify its ongoing battle for control of the regional beer market with its rival Diageo, which owns 50.03 per cent of EABL.
Last week SABMiller conducted a ground-breaking ceremony in Mbarara, a key area among Uganda’s fastest growing markets. Mr Mark Bowman, the SABMiller Africa managing director, said in a statement that the new brewery’s site is an optimum location that would meet the increasing beer demand.
The investment comes as the beer giant has steps up its activity in the Eastern Africa market. It has opened a new plant in South Sudan, made a re-entry into the Kenyan market via its subsidiary Crown Beverages and is preparing to defend its Tanzanian market from a fresh onslaught from EABL – which bought rival Serengeti Breweries Limited in 2010.
East Africa is increasingly becoming a battle zone among multinationals SABMiller, Heineken and Diageo led EABL.