Emerald Brewery Myanmar, a 500,000 hl brewery with options for a later enlargement has started commercial operations last week in Hlegu township, 35km northeast of Myanmar’s largest city and former capital Yangon. The brewery is a 51/49 joint venture between Than Lwin Aye Yar Industrial Production & Construction Co, a local company with close ties to the government and Fraser and Neave(F&N), a food, beverage and publishing conglomerate in Singapore in which ThaiBev holds a majority stake.
The joint venture was established in March 2018, when F&N announced to return to the country after being absent for three years. In August 2015, after a two-year legal battle between F&N and its local partner, Union of Myanma Economic Holdings (UMEHL), one of Myanmar’s two military-run conglomerates, the company sold its 55 percent stake in Myanmar’s largest brewery Myanmar Brewery to Japan’s Kirin Holdings for USD 560 million (inside.beer, 22.3.2018).
The new greenfield brewery will produce Chang beer, according to the same recipes and with the same ingredients as in Thailand. The product will be sold in 30ml and 500ml cans, 320ml and 620ml bottles and 30-litre kegs. More than 170 full-time employees are needed for the ongoing operations.
The opening of Emerald Brewery reflects “the great potential we see in this fast-growing market. We have worked swiftly to build our new brewery, operations and business; and are confident that our two decades’ experience in Myanmar will propel our new venture forward.” Mr. Koh Poh Tiong, Chair of the F&N Board Executive Committee said during the inauguration ceremony last week. He also reminded that the company celebrates this year the 25th anniversary of Chang Beer, which was first brewed in Thailand on April 4, 1994. The beer was produced under a 50/50 joint venture with Carlsberg (which was later dissolved) in order to break the monopoly of the local Singha beer. Official marketing of Chang beer started on March 2, 1995.