This article was originally published on Wednesday, 25 September 2019 at 18:01 SGT; it has since been updated to include comments from F&N and Thai Beverage.
Fraser and Neave re-entered Myanmar’s beer market, with production of Thai Beverage’s Chang Lager Beer beginning at its Emerald Brewery Myanmar after an investment of around US$70 million in the new brewery, the beverage maker said Wednesday.
The brewery, located in Yangon, will brew and market Chang Lager Beer and build a nationwide distribution network, F&N said in a filing to SGX. The project has a local partner and Thai Beverage is a strategic partner, the statement said.
“Our investment reflects the great potential we see in this fast-growing market. We have worked swiftly to build our new brewery, operations and business,” Koh Poh Tiong, chairman of the F&N board executive committee, said in the statement.
“We are delighted that Emerald Brewery has stimulated job creation, with close to 1,000 people involved in the construction of the greenfield brewery, and more than 170 full-time employees hired to drive the company’s operations,” Koh added.
In a separate statement late Wednesday, Thai Beverage said Emerald Brewery marked the “next step” in expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia. F&N is an indirect associated company of ThaiBev.
“With one of the region’s fastest growing economies and a population with rising incomes, Myanmar is a strategic market for us,” Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, president and CEO of ThaiBev, said in the statement. “Given the nation’s favourable macroeconomic fundamentals and
consumption trends, we believe that our presence in the country will position us for greater success.”
F&N said the brewery was built using sustainable principles, including using new machinery from Krones with smart energy-saving features.
“By investing in new technology, the brewery will enjoy water, electricity and thermal energy savings for improved efficiency and productivity,” F&N said.
It also included a waste-water treatment system, with 90 percent of the treated waste-water to be repurposed for gardening and brewery upkeep, F&N. Solar energy will power up to 30 percent of the brewery’s operations.
As of 20 August, F&N’s wholly owned subsidiary F&N Investments (F&NI) held a 79.83 percent stake in the brewery, while investor Sun Ace owned 20 percent and Than Lwin Aye Yar Industrial Production & Construction (TLAY) held 0.16 percent.
F&N told Shenton Wire via email that the company had left the Myanmar beer market in 2015 when contractual obligations required it to divest its 55 percent stake in Myanmar Brewery to its local partner.