NAIROBI, Kenya May 24 – Kenya Wines Agency Limited (KWAL) has announced plans to put up an ultra-modern manufacturing facility in TATU city.
KWAL’s Managing Director Lina Githuka said they aim to start the construction early next year in what, she said, will revolutionalize the industry.
“This planned investment of more than Sh3 billion in a new facility will enable KWAL to meet consumer demand for our portfolio of fast-growing brands and continue to localize production of our imported brands,” Lina said at a ceremony to mark the firm’s 50 years of operations.
This, she added, is on top of the more than Sh1.2 billion that has been invested since the privatization of KWAL and the entry of Distell as majority shareholder.
“The investment will mark the first new production facility opened by KWAL in more than two decades and alongside the expansion of the distribution and marketing of our products will result in increased employment opportunities for Kenyans,” she said at the event attended by Trade, Industrialization and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
She is confident that the new investment will represent significant Foreign Direct Investment into the country which aligns to government’s Big 4 agenda and is a vote of confidence in our brands and the positive outlook in the Kenyan market.
KWAL’s Supply Chain Director Mwenda Kageenu told participants that “The ultra-modern fermentation and manufacture facility will have state of the art cellars and modern laboratories which will ensure consistent quality of our products.”
Speaking at the event Munya said “The vision to expand local manufacturing will result in increased employment opportunities for Kenyans, a significant contribution to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and the Big 4 agenda of job creation through manufacturing. I would like to applaud KWAL for the job well done and I wish you a great future ahead”
KWAL recently launched local production of ciders which include Hunters Gold and Hunters Dry cider, Africa’s largest cider and there are also plans afoot for the local production of Savanna. This is part of the company’s continued growth and expansion plan.
The KWAL journey started in 1969, when the former state corporation was established by the Government of Kenya with an objective to enable indigenous Kenyans participate in Wines and Spirits Industry (Importation & Distribution), which was until then dominated by foreign owned companies.
In 1989, KWAL relocated offices from Commercial Street in Industrial Area to Enterprise Road still within Industrial Area where the first Commercial winery was opened. The winery was opened by the then Minister of Justice Charles Njonjo. KWAL through the Government protection policies of infant industry enjoyed a monopoly status in the Wines and Spirits Sector up until the early 90’s when the economy was liberalized.
KWAL has since developed from the foundations of a state-owned enterprise to an advanced private institution with Depots in 6 major towns; Meru, Nakuru, Nairobi, Eldoret, Kisumu and Mombasa, and an increased footprint through the opening of distributors countrywide.
In 2014 the government successfully concluded phase 1 of the KWAL privatization which laid the foundation for the strong growth KWAL experienced with a tripling of volumes and profitability increasing tenfold. With the request for proposal for transaction advisors having been issued late last year it is expected that phase 2 of the KWAL privatization will commence soon.