Baltika Breweries, Russia's leading brewer and a subsidiary of Carlsberg, reopened its Baku brewery in Azerbaijan yesterday (20 May) following reconstruction work.

The modernisation of the brewery, which cost around US$20m, is one of the largest investment projects in the Azerbaijan Republic outside of the raw materials sector, said Baltika, which is owned by Carlsberg subsidiary Baltic Beverages Holding. 

The revamp included reconstruction of the brewing unit, as well as the fermentation and filtration sections. The filling line for glass bottles was re-equipped and a new line for filling beer in PET packaging was installed.

The filling lines of the brewery in the city of Khyrdalan now produce Baltika No.3 Classic in 0.5-litre bottles and Xirdalan in new 1.5-litre PET packaging.

Anton Artemiev, president of Baltika Breweries, said: "Baltika-Baku will enable our company to strengthen its position in the Trans-Caucasus. Having our own production in this region will substantially broaden our possibilities for developing export activity. This is supported by our optimistic evaluation of the prospects for growing the Azerbaijan market and the propitious investment climate."

The beer market share of Baltika Breweries brands in Azerbaijan, including the local brands and exported varieties, was 73% in 2008.