Immediately after completing the purchase of Brasil Kirin (inside.beer, 1.6.2017), Heineken announced the closure of its brewery in Gravataí, Rio Grande do Sul. From 145 people employed, 95 will directly lose their jobs; about another 20 will work until the end of the year, to help dismantling machinery and only 8 will be moved to other plants in Brazil. Besides, 37 outsourced employees will lose their jobs.
“The decision was taken on the basis of viability studies of the business and in order to take the company’s business to another level of excellence while maintaining its economic sustainability. In addition, with the new configuration and the integration of Brasil Kirin’s operations, Heineken now has a denser network of plants in the country, going from 5 to 16, including one in the same state, in the city of Igrejinha ,” the company said.
Gravataí (RS) was one of the plants, Heineken already owned before. Other plants are located in Ponta Grossa (PR), Jacareí (SP), Araraquara (SP)and Paracatuba (EC). In 2015, Heineken already closed its brewery in Manaus (AM) and in 2016 the brewery in Feira de Santana (BA) in order to streamline production. Instead, Heineken announced two years ago to build a new 3.6 million hectoliters brewery in Itumbiara (GO), which was schedule to start production in 2018. In view of the recent acquisition with Brasil Kirin having another 2m hectoliter plant (of which 1.5m hl is beer) in the state of Goias in Alexânia, the local press already speculated about the need of this additional capacity. Heineken so far did not comment on this issue.
Davi Keller Severgnini , Municipal Secretary of Finance Rio Grande do Sul said “the withdrawal was sad for the municipality. In 2016, (the company) had revenues of approximately BRL 590 million Brazilian Real (USD181.6m), accounting for tax revenues on sales and services (ICMS) of approximately BRL3.6 million (USD 1.1m) in 2017.”