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February 26, 2018

Heineken’s return to Myanmar marked with opening of $60 million brewery in Hmawby

Dutch’s $60 million brewery fectory operates production in Hmawby. Photo: Ye Myint

Dutch brewing giant Heineken marked its return to Myanmar after an absence of 20 years with the opening of a new $60 million brewery in Hmawby near the country’s commercial capital Yangon on Sunday. Heineken, one of the world largest beer companies, will be brewing and selling one brand for the local market as well as Heineken through a joint venture between its subsidiary Asia Pacific Breweries Limited and local partner Alliance Brewery Company Limited. The brewery has a production capacity of 330,000 hectolitres a year and employs more than 200 local people, said Heineken, which has a controlling 57 stake in the venture. When asked about its sales target and prices, Mr. Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Heineken, replied “as much as we can”. The new plant will brew a new local brand, Regal Seven, priced very close to existing local beers, and also Heineken for the premium market and priced accordingly, said Mr. Lester Tan, managing director of their joint venture, APB Alliance Brewery Company Limited. Myanmar’s beer consumption per capita is low at 3 litres per head on average, compared to the 70 litres of some European countries and 20 litres of some neighbouring countries, so there is a big opportunity for the company to win market share, van Boxmeer said. Rice, the main ingredient for brewing Regal Seven, is coming from local suppliers, not foreign ones, as local rice meets quality required for brewing it, the managing director told The Global New Light of Myanmar. “We are working together with NGOs and local farmers who are going to do contract farming for rice supply to the brewery,” he added. The Dutch firm’s kick-off in Myanmar comes two years after receiving the green light from the Myanmar Investment Commission in 2013. It once operated in the country but withdrew in 1995 due to various reasons.


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