Global Beer Georgia Captures CO2 and Market Share with FINTECC Support

brewery tanks

Innovative CO2 recovery system reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 35% a year

When Global Beer Georgia (GBG) set out to build a new greenfield brewery in 2016, the company had its sights set on increasing domestic production of international beers. But its “think global, act local” mind set didn’t stop there. Thanks to an innovative CO2 recovery system in the new facility, GBG has also significantly improved resource efficiency while shrinking its carbon footprint.

The new CO2 recovery system was installed as part of an €18.5 million EBRD investment programme to fund the construction of the state-of-the-art brewery. In addition, GBG received a €73,000 incentive grant from FINTECC to offset the CO2 recovery system’s cost.

Carbon dioxide is both an essential input and natural by-product of the beer brewing process. The CO2 recovery system allows the brewery to recuperate and reuse around 35% of the CO2 generated by its production processes, helping the company reduce its carbon emissions by 500 tonnes per year.

Other measures covered by the EBRD investment programme include high-efficiency filling machines that reduce energy and water waste, variable speed drives that match motor electricity use to process requirements.

Thinking global, acting local

According to Koba Chanturia, chief executive of GBG, these technologies will help GBG save money by improving energy and water efficiency while reducing the amount of CO2 that the company needs to source externally. However, he says, even greater returns could result from the high environmental and production standards the company is achieving through these innovative climate technologies.

“As an agribusiness company in Georgia, we’re acutely aware of how our processes affect the environment, and how the environment, in turn, affects the quality of our products. Georgia is a small country, and we all must do our part to protect its precious natural resources,” Chanturia says.

“But environmental protection is also a global issue, and thus it is also a high priority for global brands,” he adds. “Our commitment to reducing carbon emissions has therefore made us an attractive partner for international brands such as Heineken: they have high standards for their production processes, and they know they can count on us to meet them.”

Positive impact

Fully operational as of late 2017, the new brewery is performing as expected as the company begins domestic production of Heineken and Krusovice, which it has imported to date, as well as Amstel. Having eliminated importation costs and improved production efficiency, GBG can now offer these products in Georgia at more competitive prices, and it also has plans to start exporting them to neighbouring Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Parallel to this, the company is planning to develop a new, local brew to offer more choice to Georgia’s growing beer market. Hoping to capture 30% of the domestic market by 2020, Chanturia says beer produced in Georgia could reach 50% market share in the next two years.

According to Chanturia, the company’s growth has resulted in the creation of hundreds of local jobs: with only 9 employees at the end of 2016, a year later the company had 385.

“Thanks to EBRD funding and technical assistance, we were able to invest in advanced technologies that otherwise would have been difficult to access or afford,” Chanturia says. “And thanks to the cost savings and environmental benefits resulting from these technologies, we have been able to pursue global opportunities and tackle global challenges — all while having a positive impact on our communities here in Georgia.”