CR Snow Breweries, SABMiller's brewing venture in China, has secured approval for another greenfield brewery in the south of the country.

CR Snow, which already operates 45 breweries across China, said it has got the green light from local government authorities for the site in Zheijiang province.

The move is part of CR Snow's plan to increase its manufacturing footprint across China as it looks to further build on booming sales of flagship brand Snow.

In October, SABMiller, which owns a 49% stake in CR Snow, said Snow had become the most popular beer in China, outselling rival brand Tsingtao.

The brewer's general manager Humor Wang said the Zheijiang site would follow the construction of a brewery in the city of Harbin, in the north of China. He said: "We have completed the approval procedures (for the Zheijiang site) but it is not yet being built."

In July, CR Snow bought local brewer Zhejiang Yinyan for US$42.3m. Wang declined to reveal the projected cost of building the greenfield site in Zheijiang but said it was "becoming easier" to build breweries from scratch rather than buy existing plants.

Wang added: "We want to move further west to the layout of the whole nation. We will do this via acquisitions, expansion and greenfield breweries."

Once the greenfield sites are finished, CR Snow will have 47 breweries across the country. The CR Snow venture began in 1994 when Chinese conglomerate China Resources Enterprise teamed up with SABMiller. The deal followed CRE's move to take majority control of Shenyang Snow Brewery in the north of China.

The Snow brand looks set to become the biggest in the SABMiller portfolio. CR Snow chief marketing officer Jason Hou said Snow sales were forecast to reach 25m hectolitres by the end of the year.

SABMiller's current best seller, Miller Lite, is expected to sell 21.9m hl of beer this year.