RIGA - The Royal Unibrew, owner of the Lacplesa Alus brewery, announced plans to build a new brewery in central eastern Latvia. An official said the company would invest 12 's 14 million euros in the construction of the new brewery Lielvarde, which will crank out some 25 million liters of beer per year.
Though Lacplesa Alus has approved funding for the project and launched planning, construction of the new brewery is not expected to start for a while due to a number of formalities that need to be completed.
"Planning of the new brewery's design and infrastructure is underway, but before construction can begin in Lielvarde these plans have to be approved by the respective state authorities," said chairwoman Conny Astrup-Larsen.
She indicated that the decision was based on growing demand and the necessity to increase the Lielvarde brewery's capacity. During the first half of this year, Lacplesa Alus raised sales by nearly one-third year-on-year.
According to the company's figures, Lacplesa Alus is the fourth largest brewery in Latvia with a capacity of 10 million liters of beer per year.
In 2005, Lacplesa Alus posted 3.3 million lats in turnover, down 15.6 percent from 2004, and closed the year with a 1.4 million lats loss, which was slightly smaller than in the previous year.
Lacplesa Alus' largest shareholder (98.1 percent) is Denmark's The Royal Unibrew, which also owns Cido, Latvia's biggest juice and soft drinks group.
Meanwhile, the Kalnapilis-Tauras Group, Lithuania's second-largest beer producer, decided to move the production of Tauras beer from Vilnius to the Kalnapilis brewery in Panevezys. The group, which is also owned by The Royal Unibrew, said the decision was based on the limited potential for production expansion in Vilnius.