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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 September, 2003, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Plant produces 1.2m lagers a day
British thirst for lager is fuelling jobs and investment at Magor
If you enjoy a drop of lager, there's a good chance that it comes from a plant just off the M4 in south Wales.

And soon it will be even more likely that that drink will have been bottled in the Magor brewery, near Newport.

Magor already produces 8% of Britain's beer, and work has begun on a new 11m bottling hall which will push that total even higher.

Another 40 staff will be taken on to allow the bottling section to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Around 50,000 bottles of lager could be produced at the plant every hour, 1.2 million bottles of lager every day, and 438 million each year.

The brewers say it is needed to cope with UK demand for Stella Artois.

Stella Artois
The plant will be dedicated to bottling Stella Artois
The plant, which already employs 462 staff, will open next summer as one of the fastest of its kind in Europe.

The 4, 350 sq m plant is part of a 15m investment programme for the site and is partly funded by a 3.3m grant from the Welsh assembly government.

The general manager at Magor Brewery Alan Fernandes said: "We already supply 8% of the total amount of alcohol consumed in the UK, and this facility will obviously push that figure up even more.

"But it is hard to say by how much at this moment in time.

"Furthermore, we will be able to recruit more people and offer job security.

The hall will produce 33cl and 25cl bottles of Stella Artois as singles and for multi-packs.

A further 14.5m has been earmarked for the site by owners Interbrew, which will see an increase in capacity from 800 million pints to almost a billion pints a year in 2006.

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