1 Oct 2019 16:31

Heineken doubles capacity of premium non-alcoholic beer plant

NIZHNY NOVGOROD. Oct 1 (Interfax) - Heinken has launched a premium non-alcoholic beer plant that will use dealcoholization technology at its Volga plant in Nizhny Novgorod, an Interfax correspondent reported from the opening ceremony on Tuesday.

"Russia has become the fastest-growing market for sales of non-alcoholic beer. Demand pushed us to decide to launch a facility in Nizhny Novgorod," said the general director of Heineken Russia, Boudewijn Haarsma.

A 140-million-ruble dealcoholization system with a capacity of 50 hectoliters per hour has been commissioned at Volga, the head of the brewery, Oleg Bokov, told journalists. A similar system is already in place at the company's plant in St. Petersburg; Heineken's dealcoholization capacity has thus doubled.

Non-alcoholic beer produced using this technology is 25-30% more expensive than that produced using the old method, in which a product that is already non-alcoholic is made, Bokov said.

Volga's capacity is now 4.8 million hectoliters per year. This year, it is planning to produce 2.75 million hectoliters, with non-alcoholic beer accounting for less than 1% (2020: 2.8 million and 1%). Its Nizhny Novgorod plant is Heineken's biggest in Russia, accounting for about 30% of the company's production there.

According to Haarsma, non-alcoholic beer accounts for about 3% of Heineken's production and about 1.5% of the Russian beer market. The company produces a quarter of Russia's non-alcoholic beer, making it the segment's second-biggest player, after Baltika. Haarsma was quoted earlier as saying that Heineken wants to boost the share of non-alcoholic beer in the Russian market to 5-10% and become the leader in the segment.

The company is the second-biggest brewer in the world and the third-biggest in Russia. It has been working there since 2002, when it acquired a plant in St. Petersburg. Its brands include Heineken, Amstel, Affligem, Gosser, Tri Medvedya, Okhota, Okskoye, Stepan Razni, and others.