Heineken has moved to clarify reports of earthquake damage at the Chilean brewer Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU).

The Netherlands-based firm, which holds a 33% stake in CCU, confirmed today (8 March) that CCU's brewery in Santiago suffered damage in the filtering and bottling areas when the earthquake hit Chile late last month.

CCU has subsequently reallocated the production to lesser damaged breweries in Chile and to its facilities in neighbouring Argentina for “the next two to three months”, the company said.

At the same time, CCU noted that its soft drinks, purified water, functional beverages, tea, mineral water, and sweet snacks operations suffered “minor damage”, although all operations in these fields have resumed normal operations.

“The logistics operations are functioning in various degrees, depending on the location with respect to the earthquake’s epicentre,” CCU added. “It is being affected by the difficulties of the current situation in the wrecked zone: damaged roads and highways, limitations in the sale of fuel, lack of security in certain distribution zones, interrupted communications and lack of energy.”

In addition, CCU has suffered losses of “finished products inventory” in the region of 200,000 hectolitres of assorted product categories. The inventories will be recovered shortly, CCU said, thanks to a contingency plan activated immediately after the earthquake.

“With the mitigation plan,” CCU continued, “the insurances contracts and the cooperation of the authorities to obtain the necessary permits, we estimate that the damages and losses are adequately covered.”

The company concluded by saying it was not aware of any fatalities affecting any of its employees.