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Rwanda’s Bralirwa gets Sh2.5bn loan to fund expansion

The Bralirwa bottling plant. The Rwandan
The Bralirwa bottling plant. The Rwandan beverage-maker has received a $25 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its Kigali-based plant. PHOTO | FILE  

Listed Rwandese beverage-maker Bralirwa has received a Sh2.5 billion loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its Kigali-based plant.

Bralirwa — which listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange after selling shares to East Africans including Kenyans — will use the fresh capital to add a soft-drink bottling line, improve on the company’s energy consumption and construct a waste-water treatment plant.

The company also brews Heineken beer at the Kigali plant.

Part of the funds have been set aside for improving the quality of maize and other raw material procured from co-operatives that supply Bralirwa.

“We aim to increase our local sourcing of raw materials needed for our products, support inclusive growth, and provide farmers with a reliable source of income. It will make an important contribution to the Heineken’s ‘Brewing a Better World’ ambition,’’ said Bralirwa chairman Boudewijn Haarsma.

Some 5,000 maize farmers that supply the manufacturer will also be trained on how to increase their farm yields.

Analysts said the investment in expansion would only bear fruit if Rwanda’s general economy does not slowdown this financial year.

“Low penetration levels in infrastructure outside the capital Kigali, however, minimises product accessibility and threatens operating margins by piling pressure on direct expenses,” said an earlier report by Genghis Capital.

“The possibility of economic slowdown may have an adverse effect on consumption over the 12-month investment horizon as the company invests in capacity expansion such as a new soft drink bottling plant in, Kicukiro and brewery in Gisenyi to cater for future growth.”

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