ABIDJAN Heineken NV (HEIN.AS), the world's third largest brewer, and Africa-focused trading firm CFAO CFAO.PA will invest 100 billion CFA francs ($163.52 million) to build a brewery in Ivory Coast, a Heineken company official said on Wednesday.
The brewery will have the capacity to produce 1.6 million hectolitres of beer annually and will enter production towards the end of next year, said Siep Hiemstra, Heineken's president for Africa and the Middle East.
"We'll be operational in a year and a half and I hope that we'll be able to taste a good beer around Christmas, in December 2016," he told journalists in the commercial capital Abidjan following a meeting with Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan.
Hiemstra said the brewery would primarily produce beer for the domestic market in Ivory Coast and Heineken would try to source ingredients within the country.
Following a brief 2011 civil war, Ivory Coast has emerged from a decade-long political crisis as one of Africa's fastest growing economies.
"We estimate that Ivory Coast offers great potential for the development of beer consumption," Hiemstra said.
(Reporting by Ange Aboa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Emma Farge)