Fri, Sep 27, 2002 - Page 11 News List

Tsingtao brewery slated for Pintung

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The first local brewery for China's Tsingtao Beer will be built in Pintung County and start mass production in 2004, the local distributor said yesterday.

"NT$3 billion will be invested in the facility, with a maximum production goal of 331.2 million bottles per year," said Peter Tsai (蔡清富), deputy general manager of the company that distributes Tsingtao in Taiwan, the Taiwan Tsing Beer Corp (台灣青啤).

Tsai added that the brewery would sit atop 8.5 hectares of land and be open for tours, a business offshoot that is expected to generate some NT$6 billion a year and create multiple job opportunities.

The brewery's first year production goal is 82.8 million bottles, growing to 165.6 million bottles the second year, Tsai said.

He said Tsingtao Beer will provide bottle labelling and brewing technology under a 30-year deal with the Chinese parent company.

Taiwan Tsing Beer Corp is a unit of Taiwan-based Sanyo Whisbih Group (三洋維士比), which was established in 2000.

Tsai and the corporation's president paid a visit to Pintung County Commissioner Su Chia-chuan (蘇嘉全) on Wednesday, accompanied by a former Control Yuan member Yeh Yao-peng (葉耀鵬). Yeh is the company's spokesperson and also a shareholder in the corporation.

Su reportedly told his guests that he warmly welcomed the company's investment in Pintung.

According to Yeh, Su facilitated the brewery's construction by providing preferential land leases as well as sufficient supplies of water and electricity.

In addition, Pintung County will invest about NT$60 million to build transportation infrastructure around the brewery's construction site, while Su also plans to build a recreational farm nearby to attract more visitors, Yeh was as saying in the local media yesterday.

According to Tsai, local beer drinkers have responded well to the newly-imported Chinese beer. He said that 36 million bottles of Tsingtao Beer have been sold in Taiwan since April.

Tsingtao's main competition is Taiwan Beer, Tsai said.

After grabbing a 5 percent market share in July, Tsai estimated the brewer could control 20 percent of the Taiwan market within three years.

Tsingtao's entry into the nation's beer market is one of the first by a foreign brewery following termination of the alcohol-production monopoly held by the state-controlled Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Board (TTWB, 公賣局) last January.

The government is cutting tariffs on hundreds of goods and opening its market to foreign competition as a result of its entry into the WTO in January.

The TTWB, which produces and distributes Taiwan Beer, said it has firmly secured an 85 percent market share in Taiwan that no rival could possibly steal away.

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