Almost two years after the government ordered the closure of a nearly completed USD 1.4 billion brewery in Mexicali near the U.S.-Mexico border, Constellation Brands (CBrands) will soon announce the construction of a new USD 1.3 billion brewery in the south of the state of Veracruz, in southeastern Mexico.
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal cited people close to the matter who said that CBrands and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are expected to soon announce the relocation of the brewery to Mexico’s impoverished southeast region.
Today, Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, the governor of Veracruz, affirmed the news. During a press conference, he said that CBrands has “already confirmed that it will be in the state of Veracruz.” He added that the choice of a new location was mainly “a question of water and Veracruz represents 30% of the hydrological resource in the country. Sure, you have to make it drinkable, but that’s on behalf of the company.”
Although the governor declined to mention the exact location of the new plant, he said it will be built in the interoceanic corridor. The interoceanic corridor runs along an almost 300km rail line that connects two ports on Mexico’s narrowest stretch between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. It is one of the main projects of the current federal government and will be inaugurated by the end of 2023.
In March 2020, voters in Mexicali, the capital city of the state of Baja California, close to the border to the United States stopped in a non-binding vote the construction of CBrands’ nearly finished brewery. Especially local farmers fought against the new brewery saying that the plant would need too much water in an area where water in general is a rare commodity. (inside.beer, 27.3.2017)
Despite legal concerns and protests of the affected parties, the Mexican President finally decided that "one must respect the decision of the people" and stopped the construction. (inside.beer, 24.3.2020)
Some months later the President told reporters that he favored a new location of the brewery in the south of the country where there is an abundance of water. This region is home to Mexican’s President and a stronghold of his ruling party. For Constellation Brands a location in the south is not ideal as the beer of the new brewery is destined for export to the United States and the south of the country is more than 3,000 km away from the northern border whereas Mexicali is a border town to the United States. (inside.beer, 19.9.2020)