Heineken is going to invest €9.3 million in a new packaging line at its brewery in Schiltigheim near Strasbourg. The investment is eliminating a bottleneck in filling which currently restricts capacity of the brewery to 1.3 million hl as opposed to the possible 1.7 million hl. The new filling line, which is complementing three others already in place, is capable of filling 40,000 bottles per hour. Besides a further volume growth, Heineken intends to support further innovation and diversification across its Heineken, Fischer, Edelweiss and Desperados brands.
In April Heineken will start to hire 14 new people, taking the total staff at the plant to over 200. “With this filling line, we respond to the needs of the market and we strengthen our innovation capacity,” says Stéphane Crépel, director of the Heineken brewery. And he adds: “The site, which currently has 189 employees, has attracted the group’s confidence after being transformed in recent years – in particular towards greater flexibility in supporting innovation.”
Heineken is operating three breweries in France: Schiltigheim in the West, Mons-en-Baroeul in the North and Marseille in the South. The combined production capacity after the investment will enable Heineken to brew 92% of all Heineken beers consumed in France to be brewed locally. Since 2010, Heineken has invested more than €100 million in its three breweries in France.
Until the end of 2009, Heineken had two breweries in Schiltigheim: Brasserie Fischer with 137 people employed and Brasserie de l'Espérance with a staff of 169 people. Both breweries had a combined capacity of 2.4 million hl. With the closure of the Fischer site, production was transferred to Brasserie de l'Espérance and Mons-en-Barœul.
After being idle for the last years a new investment project for the old brewing facility of Brasserie Fischer is underway, which frightens many residents because of its size. It is carried out by the local municipality of Schiltigheim, the Heineken group as owners of the site and the promoter Altarea Cogedim. The project includes 700 housing units, including social housing, shops, a school and a nursery school.