Heineken brings €5.5 m in cutting-edge technology to Hauts-de-France

13 Jun 2019
Agrifood, Investment
Estimated reading time : 2 minutes
Heineken brings €5.5 m in cutting-edge technology to Hauts-de-France
13 Jun 2019
Agrifood, Investment
Estimated reading time : 2 minutes

€5.5 m earmarked for new technology

Thanks to an investment of 5.5 million euros, the Heineken brewery in Hauts-de-France now boasts a latest-generation keg packaging line for the foodservice market – the only production line of its kind in France – following an additional €5.5 million investment. The line will manufacture the kegs used with Heineken’s new countertop draft beer dispenser: the Blade. It will be the Group’s only plant in France to employ the newest technology and demonstrates its continued confidence and interest in improving its employees’ knowledge base, expertise and making the site even more competitive. 

And Heineken has no plans to stop here: The Group has already set aside an additional €11 million to restore and upgrade the site’s production equipment this year. 

 “We had to learn new skills like blow-molding  and sleeve application,” says Plant Manager Antoine Clément. 

The patented draft beer dispensing system allows smaller cafés and restaurants to serve their customers refreshing ice-cold draft beer this summer without installing an expensive and cumbersome draft beer system. Restaurant owners can count on maintaining their beverage spend’s high quality by preserving beer’s taste and fizz for up to six weeks without adding gas. The special kegs used with the dispenser were previously imported into France, so making them in France represents a significant boost for French industry.

The Hauts-de-France production line will boost sales of this high-growth potential product across France. This technology is installed at just six sites worldwide, with the other five located in Austria, Romania, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy and the UK.

The Blade in 3 key figures:

  • A €5.5 million investment
  • 10 jobs created
  • 270 kegs filled per hour

In early 2018, Nord France Invest announced the Heineken Group’s investment in the Pélican brewery in Mons-en-Baroeul (https://www.nordfranceinvest.com/actualites/actualite-detaillee/heineken-investit-8mEUR-sur-son-site-des-hauts-de-france.html). 

Mons-en-Baroeul: Key strategic site for Heineken

Heineken leverages Mons-en-Barouel’s central location in northern Europe to better serve its French and European customer base.

The Pélican brewery has Heineken’s only French aluminum can production line and is the Group’s largest French site in terms of both size (22 ha) and yield, with an annual production capacity of 3.5 million hectoliters. It currently produces more than 130 products.

The Heineken Group regularly “reaffirms the site’s strategic importance and its confidence in its teams” with additional investments. Since 2010, it has invested a total of €73 million in the region, leading to a 75% production increase over the past decade.

A historic regional presence

Founded in Hauts-de-France nearly a century ago in 1921, the Pélican brewery, makers of Pelforth brand beer, joined the Heineken Group in 1986. It has since become one of the region’s most powerful brewers. With more than 300 employees and 40% of the local beer manufacturing workforce, it is the regional brewing industry’s largest employer and is also credited with indirectly creating some 2,000 jobs.

The beer industry in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is France’s second-ranked beer-producing region, with an annual output of 6 million hectoliters (30% of the domestic total). In addition to the Heineken Group, the region is home 60 other French breweries. 

Learn more about the agrifood sector in Hauts-de-France.

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