South African Breweries (SAB) and AB InBev Africa have invested R438-million in installing a second production line at the Ibhayi brewery in Port Elizabeth.
The new 6 000 m2 packaging line for returnable glass bottles can produce 34 500 bottles an hour, in 910 mℓ and 1 ℓ sizes, equating to an additional 500 000 hectolitres of beer packaged a year.
The Ibhayi brewery already produces 1.8-million hectolitres a year.
The new packaging line has the capability to produce an additional 1.8-million hectolitres a year, which would bring the brewery’s yearly capacity to around 3.6-million hectolitres, once in full operation.
The new line has already created 14 new jobs, with 40 further jobs to be created if the line is brought to full capacity.
Construction of the new line began in March and was completed in seven months, with its first batch of beer produced in October.
The new line currently produces SAB’s 1 ℓ Castle Lager and Carling Black Label returnable glass bottles. It is expected that Castle Lite’s 910 mℓ bottle will run on the line from early 2019.
Ibhayi also produces Hansa Pilsner, Castle Milk Stout and Lion Lager.
Moreover, the Ibhayi brewery warehouse is being expanded to accommodate the increased volume of production, adding another 2 000 m2 to the plant.