An announcement today by the beer maker Heineken means economic diversification for the Chihuahua municipality of Meoqui: the state’s fourth largest producer of milk will become the largest producer of beer.
Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Heineken announced the investment of 7.5 billion pesos, or US $480 million, to build a new plant in the municipality located in the center of the state, about 60 kilometers from the city of Chihuahua.
It’s not the first time Meoqui has celebrated the arrival of a brewery. Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, before it became part of Heineken in 2010, began the process of building there in 2007 but later abandoned the project, even after the state put up 100 million pesos to develop infrastructure.
The new brewery will produce 5 million hectoliters annually for the domestic and United States markets, employ 500 people and bring to 27 the number of plants it operates in Mexico. It is the biggest single investment ever made in the state of Chihuahua, said Gov. César Duarte Jáquez.
Company CEO Marc Brusain said Chihuahua was selected for its geographic location, the quality of the water and the level of law enforcement.
Today’s announcement was made at Los Pinos, the official home of President Peña Nieto, in conjunction with the company’s 125th anniversary.
Heineken is the world’s third largest brewer. Its most popular brands in Mexico are Sol, Indio and Tecate.
In January competitor Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona among other brands, announced plans to build a new brewery in Mérida, Yucatán. Its initial production will total 5 million hectoliters.
A hectoliter is the equivalent of about 122 million 12-bottle cases.