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Carlsberg to set up beer factory in Naivasha, face off with Keroche, EABL

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Carlsberg Naivasha: Apart from its tax troubles with the Kenya Revenue Authority, local brewer Keroche Breweries is set to face stiffer competition from a Danish brewer. The Danish brewer and maker of Tuborg and Carlsberg beers is set to invest $45 million (Sh. 4.5 billion) in a factory in Naivasha.

The Danish Brewing Company late last year agreed to be the anchor tenant at the planned Industrial Park Naivasha and expects that to pull in other investors.

The firm will produce Tuborg, Carlsberg, Holsten, and Kronenbourg beers, as well as Somersby Cider at the factory. The factory’s access will be greatly supported by the Standard Gauge Railway.

The brewer recently started aggressively marketing its products in Kenya and production locally is expected to increase competition in the beer market, where East African Breweries Limited and Keroche Breweries are among major players.

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It is being estimated that once fully operational, this new Carlsberg Naivasha factory will produce 12-15 million cases of beer a year and directly employ 350 Kenyans. It will also produce beverages using sorghum sourced locally from their recently launched farmers outreach programme, where they will contract 17,000 farmers.

These developments and the Keroche predicament have left tongues wagging, with conspiracy theories spreading like bush fire on Kenya’s social media. Many people have linked Keroche’s tax troubles to the establishment of this firm. However, the Keroche case is currently in court with a decision on whether the company conspired to evade taxes expected at the end of the hearings.

The Government, in July last year, designated 9,000 acres of land in Naivasha, Mombasa and Machakos as Special Economic Zones (SEZs), aimed at boosting the manufacturing pillar under the Big Four Agenda.

The Naivasha Industrial Park under the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) will see the development of the 1,000 acre Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of which 800 acres will have warehousing for various manufacturers, logistics parks and support services to provide a world class manufacturing hub in the region.

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