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Farsons inaugurates €12.5m brewhouse

Farsons chief executive Norman Aquilina and chairman Louis Farrugia greet President George Abela at the brewhouse inauguration last Thursday.

Farsons chief executive Norman Aquilina and chairman Louis Farrugia greet President George Abela at the brewhouse inauguration last Thursday.

Simonds Farsons Cisk plc inaugurated its €12.5 million state-of-the-art brewhouse on Thursday evening in an event hosted by group chairman Louis Farrugia and chief executive Norman Aquilina. The project is the final phase of an €40 million investment programme encompassing three capital projects that included a soft drink packaging centre and a logistics centre inaugurated in 2008. Construction of the new brewhouse started in July 2010 and was completed in 24 months.

The brewhouse was inaugurated by President George Abela and blessed by Archbishop Paul Cremona. Featuring a modern architectural design with copper cladding, the brewhouse boasts a natural ventilation system, rainwater harvesting and temperature insulation. Apart from the brewing plant, the building also houses a malt-handling and storage system, a rain water reservoir, a laboratory and offices.

Energy-efficient, it has been designed to cope with Farsons’ future brewing requirements with further improved quality, productive capabilities and cost efficiencies, ensuring competitiveness in an ever-changing international market.

Addressing guests, Mr Farrugia said the ability of a business to re-imagine its future and to re-engineer its operations accordingly is of paramount importance, particularly in today’s environment. “A willingness to embrace change and to make bold strides forward are an intrinsic part of the entrepreneurial culture of the Farsons Group,” he continued. “Since our inception, when we produced our very first brew, our beers have become an intrinsic, and highly appreciated, part of Malta’s way of life. To make great beers, however, one needs a great brewery and the fact that we are here today, having reached another major milestone, is surely testament to our determination to look ahead, to invest in the quality of our beers and to shape our future, time and time again.”

He outlined how the project is outstanding on many counts: the scale of the investment itself is significant and the technology involves the latest brewing processes and systems.

Cost efficiencies will result from reduced shipping costs of bulk malt deliveries, automated malt handling, better yields and quality thanks to up-to-date technologies and automation, energy savings, and more efficient equip-ment with a dedicated energy recovery system.

Further energy savings will come from lower energy use per litre of beer by energy recovery from the boiling process, low emissions from the boiling process, reduced use of packaging material for brewing materials that will be bought in bulk, thermally-insulated buildings to conserve energy, use of natural ventilation, and a rain collection system.

Like the previous two projects, the new brewhouse was managed entirely by a Farsons team and Mr Farrugia expressed his appreciation to chief projects officer Paul Micallef and his team, and Alberto Miceli-Farrugia of Architecture Project and his team who were entrusted with the building’s architectural design and structural planning.

The plant, installed by Krones AG from Germany, includes 12 silos for malt storage, each capable of holding 90 tons of malt, equipment for malt milling, five main brewing vessels and wort cooling.

Mr Aquilina explained:“This investment in our new brewhouse will significantly contribute to making our beer production more competitive. The foundation of success in any business is based on ensuring one’s competitive advantage.

“Today it is clear that we cannot base our strategy on a static concept of competitive advantage. Sustaining such an advantage demands continued change and investment to ensure we are in line with market developments, well positioned to take on arising challenges and opportunities, and ideally also a step ahead of escalating competition.”

Two special brews – Cisk Premium Pilsner and Simonds Special Premium Amber Ale – were launched last week to coincide with the brewhouse’s inauguration and will form part of Farsons’ portfolio.

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