4 Sorghum essential for future of Nigerian Breweries IN BRIEF Miniature brewery shipped to Nigeria Purification in Algete Spain almost ready Nigeria covers a surface area of almost 1 million square kilometres, which makes it one of Africa's biggest countries. The country has a population of almost one hundred million. Heineken is represented in Nigeria through its shareholding in Nigerian Breweries Limited (NBL). NBL produces the local beer brands Star, Gulder, Maltina and Rex, and also Green Sands shandy. Heineken International Magazine focused its sights on Nigerian Breweries and found that this brewery in Lagos is humming with activity. Major efforts are being made to expand the possibilities for brewing beer on the basis of sorghum. Some time ago Rex, a new type of beer brand containing sorghum as one of its basic raw materials, was put on the market. Nigerian Breweries have recently also been able to make use of a micro-brewery to perfect the production technology for sorghum-based beer. In one of Heineken's pro cess research laboratories in Zoeterwoude (Holland) trials lasting several weeks were carried out using an ex ceptionally small brewery. In miniature brewing kett les, made of glass instead of the usual copper or stainless steel, all sorts of sorghum- based brews were tested. Computers enabled a very accurate simulation of the entire brewing process. Employee efforts Constant quality The new Rex brand Training courses M Italy Netherlands New Caledonia Netherlands O. Adeniyi of Nigerian Breweries at work with the micro-brewery. He spent two months at Zoeterwoude learning all about micro-brewing techniques. The apparatus has meanwhile been shipped out to Nigeria where it is now being used for further research. Provisionally, research work will be aimed at improving the quality of the sorghum. Sorghum is a tropical seedplant which has recently been introduced in the brewing process in Nigeria.This move was a consequence of the Nigerian Government's decision to restrict malt imports. A complete ban on malt imports is likely to come into effect in 1990. This decision meant that Heineken and NBL had to look for alternative raw materials. The micro-brewery was constructed in scarcely two month's time.This was an unusually short period when compared to the other micro-brewery in Zoeterwoude which took some ten years to develop. So that the equipment could be optimally used in Nigeria, two NBL employees, Dr. A. Aisi and Mr. O. Adeniyi, spent two months in Holland helping to set up the micro-brewery and familiarise themselves with the many computer- controlled processes. The water purification plant at the El Aguila brewery in Algete is nearing completion.The installation had to be expanded because of the sharp climb in production capacity at the Algete brewery. The treatment plant purifies the brewery's waste water using an anaerobic process, which means one that works 'without oxygen'. Within the brewing industry this form of purification is fairly rare and the Algeta installation will be the first within the Heineken concern.The advantage of anaerobic purification compared to the aerobic method is that it saves energy. Work is already being done in Nigeria on the sorghum brewing process. A major aspect in this new brewing process is making sure that the sorghum is of constant quality. The micro-brewery can play an important role in guaranteeing that constant quality. In the brief speech he made at the official delivery of the mini- brewery, Mr. Van Eerde, Manager of Corporate Technical and Technological Affairs, recalled the amount of know-how that had been gained through technological progress. "But that know-how is not enough for the future. By now we know a great deal about malt, but our knowledge of sorghum is still in its early infancy." Pending further improvements in sorghum quality, Nigerian Breweries had already made a start some eighteen months ago on the production of a new type of pilsener lager.This beer is made on the basis of malt and sorghum instead of malt and sugar and has been introduced on a limited scale in the Nigerian market under the name Rex. For the time being the new beer brand is available in hotels and big supermarkets. Plans are to increase the number of outlets as product acceptance grows. With the launch of Rex and the arrival of the micro-brewery in Lagos, Nigerian Breweries Limited have shown that they intend to make a fast change-over to the use of locally grown raw materials in beer production. In any event the brewery is not simply sitting back calmly and waiting until 1990 when the import ban is imposed. Responding to new developments is an absolute precondition for all businesses if they are to be able to continue operating effectively, wherever in the world. One factor crucial to the micro- brewery is its proper operation. How do you find skilled people who can make the best use of such apparatus? You could of course send out technicians from Holland. This was what Heineken did for many years, one of the reasons being that in Nigeria, for instance, technically skilled people were in very short supply on the labour market. Because of the strong expansion of brewing operations in that African country and also because of the Nigerian Government's wishes for young nationals to be given a chance, Heineken changed the direction of its policy in the 1970s. Young Nigerians were taken on at a fast rate and trained for technical or management posts. The success of the training courses was reflected in a rapid growth in capacity and sales. Both production and sales doubled over a five-year period.The fast growth in the number of training courses also meant that training facilities had to be dramatically expanded. What started out as a small department with one manager and one lecturer has grown over the years into a large organisation. In addition, Heineken employees regularly travel from Nigeria to Holland to gain extra know-how or - as in the case of the micro-brewery - to follow a training course. Nigerian Breweries pays a lot of attention to training. This engineer is busy with a drawing assignmentpart of his training course. The Italian brewery Birra Dreher S.p.A., part of the Heineken group, increased its minority interest in the brewery S.P.A.I., S.p.A. to 70%.The S.P. A.I. brewery, which has its head office in Cagliari on the island of Sardinia, has an annual capacity of some 300,000 hectolitres. Birra Dreher already has breweries in Popoli, Macomer, Pedavena and Massafra. Several years from now Heineken's Spirits and Wine Group in Holland will be transferring its production from Leeuwarden to its unit in Zoetermeer.The Leeuwarden plant will then be closed.The closure is a result of the structurally adverse Dutch market for spirits.The relocation will also benefit the efficiency of the organisation. Consultations are currently still under way as regards the consequences for personnel. Grande Brasserie de Nouvelle Caledonie, in which Heineken has a stake of more than 85%, has been awarded the distinction of "Best bottler of 1986" by Pepsi Cola International.Thanks to a creative marketing policy and the constant high quality of the Pepsi Cola produced by Grande Brasserie de Nouvelle Caledonie, Pepsi's market share in New Caledonia has doubled in the space of just two years. This month saw the start of the distribution of the Pommery champagne brand in the Netherlands by Heineken's Spirits and Wine Group.The Pommery brand is owned by the French B.S.N, concern.

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Heineken International Magazine | 1987 | | pagina 4