Heineken opened its new brewery and bottling plant yesterday in Meoqui, Chihuahua, where it will produce 600 million liters of beer a year for the domestic and United States markets.
Spread over 70 hectares, the US $500-million brewery will create 300 direct jobs, said Heineken México CEO Dolf van den Brink.
Jean-François van Boxmeer, head of parent company Heineken International, said the Mexican market is one of the brewer’s most important, and that 20% of its work force is located here.
By 2019, van Boxmeer said, Heineken will have invested $2 billion in Mexico since 2016 on enlarging its warehousing and distribution centers and production facilities.
Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral Jurado said such projects created the foundation for the region’s socioeconomic expansion.
Van den Brink added that Mexico’s economy has proved to be “dynamic and vigorous, despite international turbulence . . . the beer industry has reported growth for 16 consecutive quarters.”
Federal Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said that over the last five years that beer and related industries — from farming to glass production — have attracted close to $20 billion in foreign direct investment.
Since 1990, he said, beer exports have grown from $190 million to $3 billion annually.
Guajardo also touched on the prospect of a scenario without the North American Free Trade Agreement. The beer industry, he said, would be one of the least affected given the international treaties Mexico has signed.
“. . . Mexico will continue to be a strong country in the dynamics of integrated trade,” he said.
New technology will reduce water consumption at the new plant by 30%, meaning that one liter of beer will be obtained from every two liters of water, rather less than tThe company’s global average of 3.6 liters.
The facility obtains 12% of its electrical power from solar systems and the plan is to obtain the rest of the plant’s electrical needs with the installation of a wind farm. A wastewater treatment plant allows the use of biogas in boilers and the reuse of treated water for washing and irrigation.
The Meoqui brewery is the company’s seventh Mexican facility. It will brew brands such as Tecate, Dos Equis and Heineken.