By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –
ZAMBIAN Breweries PLC will commence the construction of a US$32.6 million malting plant in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) in the second half of 2014.
The construction of the malting plant worth US$32.6 million in the Lusaka South MFEZ is part of the company’s plan of local sourcing barley programme in support of the Zambia’s agricultural development.
The firm said despite the anticipation of the impact of the excise rate increase, it will not affect its investment in malting plant but has among other investments, pulled back its plan to invest $15 million in a new packaging line at the Ndola Brewery.
ZB corporate affairs manager Yuyo Nachali-Kambikambi said the company was expected to begin the construction of the malting plant in the second half of this year.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Nachali-Kambikambi was confident that the company would engage local suppliers during the construction phase but could not, however, disclose the number of jobs to be created.
“We are still looking at the contractual issues, our suppliers and the equipment that need to be bought so we will be able to say something before we start because right now it is too early to talk about how many jobs will be created but obviously they will be,” she said.
Ms Nachali-Kambikambi said ZB was committed at engaging the local suppliers because this would help stimulate growth in the economy.
She said the company was still discussing with the contractors on the exact date the malting plant would be completed.
“We are dealing with contractual issues at the moment and when we are
done with that we will be able to give you a feedback on when the project was expected to be completed because it is not entirely up to us,” she said.