SABMillers White Bull lager has proved popular in Southern Sudan

SABMiller's White Bull lager has proved popular in Southern Sudan

SABMiller is to significantly expand its brewing capacity in Southern Sudan in response to growing consumer demand for beer in the country.

SABMiller said today (11 April) that it will spend US$15m to increase capacity at its brewery in Juba by around 42%, to 500,000 hectolitres by November this year. The brewery is currently working at full capacity, it said.

"Our investment in southern Sudan continues to bear fruit due to the country’s improving economic outlook and a continued positive consumer response to our brand portfolio," said Ian Alsworth-Elvey, the MD of SABMiller's subsidiary in the country, Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd.

Only last August, the brewer announced that it would double capacity at the Juba brewery to 350,000 hectolitres by the end of 2010. Its local White Bull lager has proved popular with consumers since being launched in May 2009.

SABMiller remains the only brewer with production facilities in Southern Sudan, but, as the market develops, the group will face increased competition from Diageo's East African Breweries Ltd.

just-drinks understands from sources close to Diageo that the Guinness brewer has been eyeing its own production base in Southern Sudan, which gained full independence from the more volatile north in January this year.

SABMiller's plant in Juba also produces 320,000 hectolitres of soft drinks, following a five-fold increase in production in 2010.