The EBRD is providing EUR 5 million in funding for the Belarus operations of the HEINEKEN group, Europe’s largest beer producer, mainly to support the company’s efforts to promote the production of high-quality barley by local farmers and make a more efficient use of water and energy in its breweries.
The funding will consist of a seven-year loan of EUR 4 million, as well as a revolving loan of EUR 1 million, available for three years.
The bulk of the EBRD funding will be used to finance the capital expenditure programme of HEINEKEN’s brewery in the town of Bobruisk, 140 km southeast of the capital, Minsk. This will include new upgrades for brew-houses and the purchase of eco-friendly merchandise refrigerators.
It will enable the company to become more competitive and improve local production standards, including through a more efficient use of energy and water. The funding will also be used to support local farmers producing high-quality barley for sale to HEINEKEN’s Belarus breweries.
The borrower is Belarus’s FCJSC Heineken Breweries, which is wholly owned by HEINEKEN N.V.
Established in 2007, HEINEKEN in Belarus is one of the leading beer producers in the country and one of the first privatized breweries in Belarus. Its products include local beer brands Bobrov and Rechitskoe and licensed beer under the brands Zlaty Bazant, Doctor Diesel, Gosser and PIT as well as popular malt-based soft drink kvass under own local brand Hatni.
Although HEINEKEN became the single largest beer producer in Belarus in 2011, the sector is still dominated by state-owned breweries.