Heineken has completed the expansion of its Patra brewery in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

As a result of an investment project, the production capacity of the brewery has increased from 1.3m hectolitres in 2005 to 3.2m hl per year in 2009.

The project covered a variety of improvements such as reconstruction of malting, brewhouse, fermentation, filtration and packaging, improving yeast treatment, upgrade of the CO2 recuperation department, water treatment plant as well as a full extension of existing production and warehouse facilities.

Dimitar Alexiev, CEO Heineken Russia, said: "Heineken Russia is a solid player in the Russian beer market. Despite challenging environment and uncertain financial forecasts of the economy, we believe in the long term potential of the Russian beer market, and therefore have ambitious plans to grow our strong Patra brands to increase their profitability in the short run. Growth of the Patra Brewery gives us an opportunity to reinforce our leadership and ambitious plans in this highly potential region."

The company said it now expects to maximise production efficiency in the Ural region of Russia and be in a better position to invest for the long-term.

Andrey Fedorchuk, director of the Patra Brewery, said: "Having in place a strong national and regional  brand portfolio, our company will be able to gain huge efficiencies in their distribution and increase availability for the consumer of Ekaterinburg, Sverdlov Oblast and the Ural region of Russia the region."

Heineken last week confirmed the divestment of the Stepan Timofeyevich kvass brand in Russia.

Earlier this month, Heineken said it would cut around 130 jobs in Russia by closing brewing operations at the Stepan Razin Brewery in St Petersburg.