SABMiller, a UK-based multinational brewing and beverage company and a major bottler of Coca-Cola, is to invest around $40m to construct a new brewery in Namibia, as part of its plan to expand business in Africa.

The company recently received approval from the local authorities to rezone 7.2ha land in Okahanjda, where it plans to break ground for the brewery construction in April 2013 and begin operations by late 2014.

With a total capacity of 260,000 hectolitres, the new brewery will accommodate future growth and will produce popular brands in Namibia, including Castle Lager, Carling Black Label and Castle Lite, which account for 22% of the local market.

The company further plans to add a returnable bottle packaging line and warehousing facilities at the site.

SABMiller managing director Mauricio Leyva said they are happy to move ahead with the construction of the brewery.

"The local brewery will not only enable us to make more of our key brands available to consumers in the Namibian market, but it will also make a meaningful contribution to the Namibian economy once it is up and running," Levya added.

"Jobs will be created, our environmental impact on the country will be reduced as we shift to returnable bottles and we will build on our existing programmes to uplift the local community."

The decision to come up with operations in Namibia was raised in 2010, when SABMiller announced establishment of SABMiller Namibia, a part of SABMiller’s wholly-owned South African business – South Africa Breweries Limited (SAB Ltd).

SABMiller Namibia is 60% owned by SAB Ltd and 40% by local partners, including Onyewu Investments and three charitable trusts.