July 13, 2012 / 3:09 PM / 7 years ago

SABMiller Zambia unit to open $90 mln plant

Workers package beer at Cervejas de Mocambique, a subsidiary of giant SAB Miller, in Maputo, March 17, 2009. REUTERS/Grant Lee Neuenburg

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambian Breweries Plc, a unit of global brewer SABMiller, said on Friday it plans to begin production at its new $90 million brewery by mid-November.

Brewers across Africa are building new facilities to ramp up beer production and meet growing demand from the continent’s new middle classes.

Zambian Breweries said the new brewery in Ndola, more than 200 km north of Lusaka, will have an annual production capacity of 100 million litres, or 267 million million bottles, a year.

The company concluded a rights issue in December through which it raised $70 million of the total financing.

Beer consumption in the poor but fast-growing country increased 15 percent in 2010 and was up 31 percent last year. Zambian Breweries accounts for about 90 percent of beer output in the southern African country.

SABMiller plans to spend up to $500 million a year for the next three to five years on building and upgrading breweries in Africa.

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