Some 4,000-plus barley producers in Western Australia could be granted access to the lucrative beer market in Vietnam and wider Asia following the opening of a massive new malt processing plant.
The CBH Group and Interflour Group are celebrating the opening of the US$70 million Intermalt facility in Vietnam, with the vast majority of grain to be supplied by Western Australia.
As part of the final commissioning phase, Intermalt has already purchased 42,000 tonnes of malt barley, with 32,000 tonnes coming from the Kwinana and Albany port zones of the Western Australian grain belt.
Intermalt is located in Cai Mep, Vietnam, and will be the largest malting plant in South East Asia. It will have the capacity to produce 110,000 tonnes of malt a year and will service major brewers in the region including Heineken Vietnam and Carlsberg.
CBH Chairman Wally Newman said: “CBH’s investment in Interflour 12 years ago was ground breaking and today’s opening of the Intermalt facility in Vietnam marks a new phase of growth for the business as it moves into barley processing and expands across South East Asia.
“It will be a new chapter for Western Australian barley growers who now have direct access to Vietnam’s burgeoning beer market – the fastest growing beer market in Asia.”
Heineken Vietnam Corporate Affairs Director Matt Wilson added: “Heineken Vietnam always seeks to use local suppliers where possible in order to drive jobs and wealth in Vietnam”.
“Our preference for local sourcing has seen us contribute around 0.75 per cent of Vietnam's total GDP and support nearly 200,000 jobs in Vietnam,” he said.
“Because of this, we are very happy to see Intermalt entering the local market with the potential to supply us with locally produced malt in the future and increase our contribution to the Vietnamese economy."