Tanduay to spend P400 million for Negros distillery expansion

By Judith Balea, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Oct 07 2008 06:35 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2008 02:35 AM

Publicly listed liquor firm Tanduay Holdings Inc.  said Tuesday it was setting aside P400 million for the expansion of its distillery in Negros Occidental this year.

Tanduay president Wilson Young told reporters that they plan to upgrade the capacity of the facility operated by its subsidiary, Asian Alcohol Corp.

"We want to increase volume by 100,000 liters a day or 30 million liters a year," he said.

Currently, the facility, which produces raw alcohol from sugarcane molasses, has a capacity of 40 million liters annually.

Tanduay has another distillery in Batangas under its Absolut unit. The facility will also be upgraded to produce 85,000 liters of alcohol from 75,000 liters.

Because of the present challenging economic environment, Young said their usual market has started to crimp on spending, affecting the company's sales for the second half of the year.

"It is expected that people will prioritize food in tough times."

But he said the strong 27-percent growth in the company's liquor sales during the earlier semester would offset the slowdown.

"We are still on track with our year-end targets."

Tanduay, which is controlled by tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan, targets an 8 percent increase in volume sales for 2008.