Heineken and Diageo have confirmed the location for their new brewery in South Africa.

The two companies, who, along with Namibia Breweries Limited, founded Brandhouse Beverages in the country in 2004, said today (26 March) that construction of the brewery, in the Sedibeng area between Vereeniging and Alberton, south of Johannesburg, has already begun.

The site covers 80 hectares, and the brewery will have an initial capacity of 3m hectolitres, with the built-in flexibility to expand, Heineken said. It will brew a range of Heineken and Diageo brands including Heineken and Amstel.

Construction of the brewery, which will be 75% owned by Heineken and 25% by Diageo, is expected to be completed by the end of 2009, leading to the creation of around 225 permanent jobs at all levels.

"The location of the brewery was a difficult decision based on far more than just geology, geography and infrastructure," said Heineken's regional president for Africa and Middle East, Tom de Man. "We are also very aware that southern Johannesburg is an area that will benefit enormously from new commercial investment, which will in turn assist and enable social and economic progress in the whole area. We, our partners Diageo and our local joint venture business Brandhouse consider ourselves part of that process."

Simon Litherland, MD of Brandhouse, added: "We are absolutely delighted with the progress being made to construct the brewery. It is a great vote of confidence from our parent companies, not only in Brandhouse and its employees, but also in the ongoing opportunities for growth in the South African market.

"Brandhouse will continue to market and distribute the same brands as it currently does."

A second site considered as a potential location for the brewery, in Ekurhuleni, north-east of Johannesburg, is still under consideration for other operations, Heineken added.