Cooperativa Agrária, an agro-industrial cooperative from Brazil that runs the largest malt house in Latin America announced on Wednesday an investment of BRL 500 million (USD 104 million) for the construction of a specialty malt house in Guarapuava, located in the Central-South region of Paraná, the largest barley producing area in the country.
The project is undertaken by Ireks do Brasil, a joint venture between the cooperative and the German company Ireks, and has been included in the government's fiscal incentives program. The new facility will be established in the Entre Rios district, adjacent to another malt house owned by Agrária, and construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024, with operations commencing in 2026, as Easycoop reported today.
This will be the first company in Brazil to produce specialty malts, a product that is currently imported, to supply the domestic market. It is estimated that approximately 400 direct and indirect jobs will be created.
"Paraná is the largest malt and barley producer in Brazil, and Agrária is one of the top ten companies in the world in this field. This new project further solidifies the favorable business environment in the state for the beer industry," said Paraná’s Governor Carlos Massa Ratinho Junior during a meeting presenting the new project to the public.
Adam Stemmer, President of Cooperativa Agrária, explained that Ireks will handle the construction, while the cooperative will be responsible for operating the malt house, barley production, malt processing, and commercialization.
"We are currently addressing all permits and quotations for equipment and civil works, with the plan to start selling the specialty malts in 2026. The goal is to replace the importation of these products, which will then be manufactured in Guarapuava, Paraná," said Stemmer. "The state government has been a great partner in supporting agribusiness and the productive sector of Paraná. The fiscal incentives granted by the state were crucial for establishing Maltaria Campos Gerais, and the same agreement is being reached for this new project."
Agrária, along with five other cooperatives from Paraná, is also leading the Maltaria Campos Gerais project, a factory in Ponta Grossa with an investment of BRL 3 billion (USD 623 million), also supported by the government. (inside.beer, 5.4.2021)
The malting plant in Ponta Grossa is in its final construction phase, and production testing will begin between November and December. The new plant is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2024, processing 240,000 tons of malt per year.
"These investments strengthen a very important value chain for Paraná, which is the food processing industry, generating many jobs in the state," emphasized the governor.
Eduardo Bekin, CEO of Invest Paraná, highlighted that the project will also impact the state's trade balance by nationalizing a product that is currently entirely imported. "This new investment demonstrates that Agrária and Ireks believe in the market and business environment of Paraná. In addition to the size of the investment and the employment figures, this venture will allow us to stop importing over USD 40 million in specialty malts annually," he emphasized.
Agrária Malte, the malting business of Cooperativa Agrária is the largest malt house in Latin America. Its flagship product is Pilsen Malt, meeting approximately 30% of the demand in the Brazilian beer market. After a recent expansion, it now has a production capacity of 360,000 tons of malt per year and has started producing some specialty malts such as Pale Ale, Vienna, and Munich, all made with 100% domestically sourced barley. However, the company has so far lacked roasting facilities, which limits the production of specialty malts. This is overcome by the production of the new specialty malt house.