SABC Group inaugurates new laboratory, readies second phase of US$155m investment plan

CAMEROON – Cameroonian beverage giant, Société Anonyme des Brasseries du Cameroun (SABC), has inaugurated its new research and development laboratory in Douala.

After a year and a half of work, the central laboratory of the company’s Koumassi-based plant is fully renovated at an estimated cost of hundreds of millions of CFA francs.

According to reports by Business in Cameroon, the facility is equipped with modern and high caliber equipment.

Coupled with over 70 years of experience of the SABC Group, the latest generation technologies in the research center will help develop new processes and products.

The launch of the facility comes months after the company invested an estimated of XAF5 billion (US$8.8m) to renovate its furnace n°1 and acquire a third PET preform line for its glass factory Socaver (Société camerounaise de verrerie).

According to the subsidiary of French company Castel and Netherlands based brewer Heineken, the investment aims to boost Socaver’s production capacity.

As per SABC’s estimates, the furnace n° 1 should become operational by late 2023 while the third PET preform line will start operations by April 2022.

Without revealing details about the additional production volume to be gained by Socaver thanks to the investments, SABC stresses that the projects are aimed to meet its commercial partners’ ever-growing demand, which is now up by 15,000 tons.

Other than manufacturing its wider range of beverages which include beers, soft drinks, water, energy drinks and alcohol mixer, the company bottles and distributes Coca-Cola’s and Nicholas International’s products in the country.

The beverage maker has also diversified its operations by venturing into poultry farming, in a bid to boost growth of the country’s agriculture sector.

Its newly established subsidiary, the Cameroonian Farming Company (CFC), feature a parent poultry farm which will produce 112,500 hatching eggs/week and a hatchery capable of producing 90,000 one day old chicks per week.

The CFC established at an investment of XAF 18 billion (US$31.9m) also encompasses a specialized corn grits production unit.

SABC intends to produce 30,000 tons of corn grits yearly for beer production with some 60,000 tons of the raw material purchased from local farmers and 10,000 tons of grits sourced from Maïscam, an agro-industrial units in the northern part of Cameroon.

SABC seeks incentives for phase 2 of US$155m investment plan

In pursuit of further growth, the Cameroonian brewing giant plans to launch the second phase of its XAF90 billion (US$155m) investment project in the course of the year.

According to reports by Business in Cameroon, the firm intends to invest most of the envelope in the construction of two new plants: a second corn processing plant in the Noun and a brewery in the Eastern region.

“We also intend to acquire new infrastructures for the sustained external growth of SABC, Socaver (Société Camerounaise de Verrerie) and CFC (Compagnie fermière du Cameroun).

“The ambition is to accelerate our vertical integration to develop an extremely efficient and competitive agro-industrial model and face future challenges related to our size and autonomy. The model will be based on local systems and the circular economy,” explains Emmanuel de Tailly, CEO of the SABC group.

In preparation for the second phase, SABC submitted a request to the government for eligibility to the benefits provided by the 2013 private investment law in the Republic of Cameroon.

The law, amended in 2017, offers companies with investment projects (whether already in operations or setting up operations) with tax and customs exemptions for over five to ten years.

Beneficiaries of the investment law include Nestlé Cameroon which invested XAF2.7 billion (US$4.6m) in a new production line at a factory in Bonabéri.

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