Vietnamese drinks company HABECO has begun construction of a new brewery in the north of the country.

The firm - full name the Hanoi Alcohol-Beer and Beverage Company - has confirmed that work started yesterday (20 July) on the facility in Me Linh district in Vinh Phuc province.

Speaking to local reporters, HABECO's general director Nguyen Van Viet said that the first phase of construction would cost around VND1.5 trillion (US$93.7m).

The facility is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2008 and will have an initial annual brewing capacity of 100m litres. By 2010, however, this should have risen to 200m litres.

The brewery is being built under a contract between HABECO, German company Krones and the Vietnam Construction and Machinery Installation Corporation's Hanoi branch.