Today, Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd (KWAL) hosted an official function to commemorate the ground breaking of its Ksh 4 Billion ultra-modern manufacturing facility. The event took place at the facility’s proposed site in Tatu City Industrial Park Ruiru. The high-profile event was attended by the Chief Administrative Secretary, Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development Lawrence Karanja, Kiambu County Governor Hon. James Nyoro, KWAL Board Chairperson Kuria Muchiru, KWAL Managing Director Lina Githuka.
The new facility will enhance KWAL’s local value creation and make a significant contribution to the company’s long-term growth strategy. Kuria Muchiru, KWAL Board Chairperson stated during the event, ‘‘The aspirations of Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda and Vision 2030’s economic pillar to boost local production, expand to the regional market and take advantage of global market niches has been the guide for our operations and expansion for KWAL. Our new plant is expected to greatly enhance production capacity, as well as our competitiveness within the East African region.’’
The investment will mark the first production facility opened by KWAL in more than two decades. KWAL Managing Director, Lina Githuka added, ‘‘The new facility will host a state-of-the-art factory with enhanced capacity to produce aspirational brands to meet ever evolving consumer tastes; a world class customer distribution center as well as offices that will provide employees with a superb working environment. The KWAL Tatu City facility will be an eco-friendly space having leveraged on go-green construction and systems to promote recycling and re-use to enhance responsible production and consumption within the facility.’’
Richard Rushton, Distell Group Managing Director, said “Distell is appreciative of the support received from the Kenyan government and KWAL partners, and Distell was excited about this greenfield investment; a reflection of Distell’s confidence in the KWAL business as well in the future of Kenya.”
For the last 52 years, KWAL has been synonymous with quality; foremost in crafting quality brands. Firstly, at KWAL House on Commercial Street where it pioneered the wine industry in Kenya, establishing the country’s first commercial winery in 1982. And currently at its Enterprise Road premises where iconic brands such as the internationally acclaimed Kibao Vodka and Hunter’s Choice Whisky were born. It is here at Enterprise Road where KWAL recently localized production of Hunter’s Gold Cider, Hunter’s Dry Cider, Best Cream and Best Whisky. The company celebrates its industry position in Kenya as a respected beverage giant, in wine, spirits, ciders and natural juices. Majority of KWAL’s brands including Caprice Wine, Kibao Vodka, Viceroy Brandy, Amarula, Cellar Cask wine, Kingfisher, Altar wine and Yatta Juice are renowned brands in the Kenyan market.
Following a privatization process in 2015 by which Distell became a shareholder in KWAL, the company has unlocked opportunities in improving brand capabilities, increased product portfolio and expanding its regional reach with additional Depot Centers in Eldoret and Meru towns.
Speaking on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Trade, Chief Administrative Secretary, Lawrence Karanja called on manufacturers to take up opportunities to enhance their manufacturing capacities, “KWAL’s commitment to the country continues to strengthen, as has been demonstrated with the expansion to this new facility at Tatu Special Economy Zone. The ministry shall support manufacturers in their industrial transformation agenda in areas such as capability upgrading and fighting of counterfeit. We wish KWAL all the best in this new chapter.’’
Kiambu Governor, His Excellency Governor Nyoro who was also present the event also lauded KWAL for the milestone commenting on the investment of the new plant at the Tatu City Special Economic Zone which is situated in Kiambu County. ‘’Kiambu County has distinguished itself as a manufacturing hub in the country. We welcome KWAL to the County and look forward to the opportunities for mutual growth and development.’’
The Company, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is a significant contributor to the Exchequer, has continuously collaborated with the Government on various other initiatives. KWAL, in partnership with industry and the manufacturing sector has also been a key driver in the national fight against illicit liquor and counterfeit alcohol, which, besides endangering people’s lives have led to tax revenue losses for government.
KWAL shareholders include Distell which has majority shareholding. Government is a significant shareholder through the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC).
Tatu Industrial Park is the fastest-growing new industrial zone in Kenya and East Africa, it is already home to more than 60 local, regional and multi-national businesses. Industry leaders at Tatu Industrial Park include Dormans, Cooper K-Brands, Chandaria Industries, Kim-Fay, Unilever, Davis & Shirtliff, Cold Solutions, Copia, FFK, Twiga Foods and Stecol, among others. The Industrial Park is located in Tatu City, Kenya’s first operational Special Economic Zone.