Azerbaijan: Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Malting Plant

A groundbreaking ceremony took place on August 8 for a new malting plant in Azerbaijan, marking a significant step in creating a value chain for beer production in the country, Trend reported. The project, situated at Azersun Holding's Imishli sugar mill, is a collaborative effort involving Azersheker LLC, Azersun Agricultural Products LLC, and the Azerbaijan Participation Company. The plans for the new plant were initially revealed in January, when Carlsberg's CEO, Cees 't Hart, met with Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during the World Economic Forum in Davos (, 28.1.2023).

The plant's initial phase will process 11,000 tons of malting barley, with plans for subsequent stages to handle 17,000 tons. This facility aims to meet the raw material requirements of beer producers, including major players like Carlsberg Azerbaijan. With an investment cost of 25 million manat (USD 14.7 million), the project will provide permanent employment for around 50 individuals.

By eliminating the need for importation, the plant is anticipated to prevent an outflow of over USD 10 million from the country. Additionally, it will yield more than 510 tons of feed additives. As part of the project, a silo complex with a capacity exceeding 20,000 tons will be constructed to store raw materials.

Azersheker LLC plans to cultivate barley, sugar beet, and food wheat across an 8,000-hectare area in various districts. The Azerbaijani government is providing state support to encourage competitive non-oil product manufacturing, enhance raw material resources, create new production sites, and expand export prospects.

The establishment of agricultural processing enterprises is seen as beneficial for local farmers, as emphasized by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sarvan Jafarov. Azersheker's Chairman of the Management Board, Anar Mehdiyev, highlighted the favorable investment environment for entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan and noted that the upcoming plant, utilizing Swiss technologies, will be the first of its kind in the South Caucasus.

Mohammad Gozal, Director General of Agriculture and Processing Enterprises at Azersun Holding, stressed the importance of establishing a domestic raw material base for producing final goods. Azersun Holding has leveraged this approach in various products like feed, dairy items, and canned fruits and vegetables, contributing to the utilization of local resources in the processing industry.

Alius Antulis, CEO of Carlsberg Azerbaijan, underlined the plant's significance in localizing the production of raw materials used in brewing. Carlsberg Azerbaijan's long-term strategy aligns with producing beer exclusively from local raw materials.

Since 2019, Azersheker and Carlsberg Azerbaijan have been collaborating on a project to cultivate malting barley in local conditions, partnering with SECOBRA Recherches, a leading European malting barley seed producer. This initiative signifies Azerbaijan's commitment to self-sustained production using indigenous resources.

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