Bralirwa, a local brewer and soft drinks maker, has unveiled a hi-tech automated soft drinks production line worth euros 25m (about Rwf24b). The facility located in Gikondo, Kicukiro District also has supporting utilities for water purification, carbon dioxide, power generation and waste treatment.
While opening the plant, the Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi, lauded the brewer, saying the new plant is testimony of the supportive business environment and the confidence investors have in the country.
"Other investors should take advantage of the favourable business atmosphere in the country and set up such facilities.
"This plant will improve the economy and boost tax collection. I congratulate Braliwa for the landmark achievement and pledge continuous government support to facilitate further economic development," Habumuremyi added.
The new production line has the capacity to make 42,000 bottles per hour compared to the old line that used to produce 2,400 bottles per hour, according to Jonathan Hall, the Bralirwa managing director.
Bralirwa, which is listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange, makes Coca-cola, Fanta, Sprite and Krest tonic under licence from Coca-Cola, and its own brand, Vital'O, as well as beer brands - Primus, Mutzig, Amstel and Turbo King at the Gisenyi brewery. It also markets Heineken beer.
Hall said the plant will help improve capacity "to meet the growing demand and satisfy customers' needs with quality products".
He added that global brewer, Heineken invested in the plant, and urged other manufacturers to invest in the country.
"Over the past few years we have invested over euros 45m in establishing facilities at Gisenyi and Kicukiro. With these establishments, 200 new professional jobs have been created. As we mark the 40th anniversary of our business partnership with Coca-Cola, it is our hope that with this new facility, other investors will invest in Rwanda," added Hall.
Pacal Karangwa, the Bralirwa technical director, said the company has been importing carbon dioxide in tanks. For safety measures, our new tanks have a capacity of up to 1,500 cubic centimetres, which will enable storage as well as improve safety. With the new plant, micro-biological safety of the water is guaranteed.
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