Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has hailed the $2.2-billion Cellars Expansion for Beer Production (CERS) project by Red Stripe as a symbol of confidence in Jamaica.
He said that the project represents a significant investment in the iconic brand, which is world-renowned for its quality and is a critical symbol of Jamaica’s cultural legacy.
“It is a very important sign that the country is doing well, that you, as an international company that has options all over, that you continue to put your money in the factory that is right here on Jamaican soil to produce this great beer. It is a powerful symbol of confidence in Jamaica,” Prime Minister Holness said.
He was addressing the official launch and unveiling of the project on Tuesday (March 28) at the plant’s Spanish Town Road location in Kingston.
CERS was designed to address an urgent need to increase capacity to satisfy the growing demand for Red Stripe products and rectify the technical issues of the existing horizontal beer storage tank blocks.
As part of the project, Red Stripe replaced and extended the cellars’ storage to allow for the production of one million hectolitres (hl) of beer per year, representing a 34 per cent increase in capacity.
The upgrading project has also optimised brewing cold block processes such as cleaning, process flow/piping, as well as the automation platform.
The Prime Minster praised Red Stripe for its commitment to sustainability under the project.
He commended the company for the many innovations integrated into its operations to ensure its carbon footprint is low, that emissions and waste produced is managed, and that product packaging is recyclable.
Managing Director of Red Stripe, Luis Prata, said the investment and scope of the project is part of the company’s commitment to improving operations and realising its sustainability targets.
“This project represents another milestone on our innovation journey and our ambition to achieve greater efficiencies and increase productivity. Our new fermenting and processing tanks have delivered a 34 per cent increase in production volumes to fulfil our growth ambitions in the domestic and export markets,” he said.
“CERS is already allowing us to reduce energy and water and chemical usage of the old horizontal tanks, ensuring that our operations have little to no negative impact on the environment,” Mr. Prata added.
The scope of work undertaken includes the installation of six new 5250hl fermenting storge tanks; revamping 10 multipurpose tanks from Maturation/Bright Beer Tank functionality to Bright Beer Tank only; modifying vertical tanks to optimise the process for fermenting, conditioning and beer storage; installing new storage tanks for processing; upgrading the Clean in Place (CIP) and process flow piping; and increasing CO2 collection system and cooling capacity to facilitate the upgrades.
The project has also increased operational sustainability by reducing energy, water and chemical usage and resulted in significant risk reduction through improvements in operational health and safety, quality and hygiene.