NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has presided over the official groundbreaking of a new Sh15 billion Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plant in Kisumu which will become operational within the next 2 years.
The groundbreaking ceremony will kick off the installation of the new brewery and refurbishment of the facility set to produce Senator, KBL’s low-end beer.
President Kenyatta lauded KBL’s commitment, saying it will spur the regional and national economy through creation over 1,500 direct jobs, while more will come from the 22,000 new farmers set to benefit from supplying the new brewery with sorghum.
Combined with the distribution and retail ends of the value chain, the new plant is expected to employ over 100,000 jobs.
KBL MD Jane Karuku said the investment constitutes 25 percent of the total annual capital expenditure for KBL’s parent company, Diageo.
“It follows our capital expenditure investments totaling 16 billion Kenyan Shillings in the last 5 years alone, taking our total investment to over 30 billion, spent on expanding our local raw material sourcing, production, distribution and retail capacity across Kenya,” said Karuku.
The climate in Nyanza is one of the most conducive for sorghum and millet production and the location of the plant will immensely benefit the local farmers. Gross additional farmer earnings are expected to reach over Sh6 billion annually over the next 10 years boosting rural economies.
Senator Keg production is anticipated to increase by 1 million hectoliters in the first 5 years of the Kisumu plant operation, while the number of sorghum farmers is projected to grow from the current 30,000 to around 45,000 farmers due to the high demand.
As a result, consumption of illicit alcohol is likely to reduce from the current 50% to less than 20% over the next five years.
The Kisumu plant started operations in 1984 but was closed in 2002 due to improvements in beer production technology that helped create excess capacity in beer production at the Nairobi brewery. The re-opening will help plug fresh demand for Senator.