Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) plant in Kisumu is set to re-open in two years, after the ground breaking ceremony presided by President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday. The plant has been closed for fifteen years since 2002.
The Kisumu plant started operations in 1984 but was closed due to improvements in beer production technology that helped create excess capacity in beer production at the Nairobi brewery. The Kisumu plant was then scaled down to a distribution point for wholesalers in the Western region. The closure of the plant led to massive job losses which contributed to an increase in the unemployment rate in the region.
The revamped plant will cost KBL Ksh.15 billion. The plant will produce Senator Keg, KBL’s low end beer brand. The projected production capacity of the plant is one million hectolitres after five years of operation.
This is good news for the people of Kisumu as the plant is projected to create 1,500 direct jobs. Combined with the distribution and retail ends of the value chain, the new plant is expected to provide over 100,000 jobs.
The plant will also increase the demand for sorghum and millet, which are the main raw materials used to brew Senator Keg. The increased demand for sorghum and millet is expected to create a market for 22,000 farmers in region. This will go a long way in improving the region’s economy.
Apart from the economic benefits, consumption of illicit alcohol in Kisumu is expected to reduce from 50% to 20% due to the availability of the low priced beer brand, Senator Keg. Consumption of illicit alcohol has in the past led to health complications and even deaths thus robbing the country of its productive citizens.