8 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Beer Brewer 'Rested'

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-Listed Blue-Chip Counter Delta Beverages This Week De-Commissioned an Old Beer Brewing Plant .The facility, which is at Delta's Southerton industrial estate in Harare, had served the market for over 40 years but its most pronounced contribution to the "wise waters" market was keeping Delta afloat when acute foreign currency shortages to import spares rattled industries and forced competitors to wind up during the decade to 2008.

An official told The Financial Gazette's Companies & Markets during a tour of the plant last week that the facility, which engineers had started dismantling, remained "a hero" in the Delta Beverages family.

"This is the plant that saved us during the most difficult times," he said.

It will go down in history as the plant that helped Zimbabwean guzzlers drink their problems away during the devastating economic crisis, kept thousands of jobs at Delta and downstream industries and nurtured and raised industry icons like ex-chief executive officer, Joel Mutizwa.

Tucked in a corner at Delta's Southern facility, very few revellers driving past the complex would ever imagine the existence of a "lone ranger" that ran to keep their bottles filled at the darkest hour for the manufacturing industry.

As engineers prepared to decommission it last week, German technicians were putting up final touches to a modern facility that replaced it.

The modern plant was commissioned on Monday this week.

"The new bottling line at Southerton Lagers Plant, purchased from Krones, Germany, is valued at US$17 million," said corporate affairs director, George Mutendadzamera.

The new plant will produce up to 70 million litres of beer per annum, or 42 000 pint bottles per hour.

"Its capabilities are truly world class and this places Delta at a new level in terms of competitiveness," he added.

If there was a special place to honour "heroic" manufacturing plants, Delta would surely reserve a place for the "heroic" beer brewer.

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