Mozambique: Heineken challenges AB InBev with new brewery

Heineken laid foundation stone for a new $100 million brewery in Marracuene in Mozambique's Maputo Province. The new brewery, which is going to challenge AB InBev in the Southeast African country, will be able to brew 0.8 million hectoliters and is scheduled to start production in in the first half of 2019.

With slowing or even decreasing growth rates in mature beer markets the world’s second largest brewer is eying now increasingly the long time neglected African beer market. In its strive to gain a foothold in often monopolistic markets the company is challenging rivals like AB InBev, Groupe Castel ad Diageo/Guinness in Africa.

In August 2011 Heineken completed the purchase of formerly state-owned Bedele and Harar Breweries in Ethiopia for a combined sum of $163 million. January 2015, Heineken officially inaugurated another €110 million brewery in Ethiopia in Kilinto outside of Addis Ababa with a production capacity of 1.5 million hectoliters, thus making Heineken the leading brewer in Ethiopia with about 4 million hectoliters ahead of BGI Castel (2.7 million hectoliters) Diageo  (1.7 million hectoliters) and several smaller mostly locally owned competitors.

 In April 2017, the Dutch group opened a $160 million brewery called Brassivoire with a brewing capacity of 1.6 million hectoliters a year on the outskirts of Ivory Coast’s capital Abidjan, directly challenging French Groupe Castel, which operates the only brewery in the fast growing West African country.   (, 28.11.2016)

Heineken also added 300 sales staff in South Africa, where AB InBev is clear market leader after acquiring SAB in in October 2016, and it acquired Stellenbrau, a craft brewer located in Stellenbosch near Cape Town/South Africa in April 2017. (, 10.4.2017)

In addition Heineken has breweries in Nigeria, where it faces strong headwinds from AB InBev and Diageo (, 15.5.2017), and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"I am convinced our presence will contribute to the economic and social development that is already under way in Mozambique," Boudewijn Haarsma, managing director of Heineken East & West Africa said. The country has a population of 29.5 million and its economy is set to grow 4.7% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

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