SAB will build the brewery, costing an equivalent of €127m, in the city of Ulyanovsk, which lies 1,000km east of Moscow on the Volga river. The move shows how Russia continues to be an important emerging market for international brewers, despite recent concerns that the country's rapid rise in beer sales was starting to slow. SAB's new brewery will have an initial capacity of three million hectolitres and is expected to be operating in early 2009. The firm said its position will give easy access to road and rail links, and is also close to raw material suppliers, issues that take on greater importance in a country as vast as Russia. The Ulyanovsk brewery will join an existing sister plant, south west of Moscow, in producing premium beers such as Zolotaya Bochka (Golden Barrel), Miller Genuine Draft and Velkopopovicky Kozel. SAB has enjoyed strong growth in Russia's premium beer sector in recent years, and these three brands are all in the top 10 of the country's premium beers. "Russia remains a strategically important market for SABMiller and this investment will enable us to maintain our strong growth profile in the premium segment," said Alan Clark, managing director of SABMiller Europe. SAB said its current market share in Russia was six per cent by volume, or an estimated 15 per cent of industry profitability. In the year to March 2006, the company grew volumes by 14 per cent in Russia, twice the rate of the market.