ETHIOPIA – Ethiopia’s new entrant in the bottling industry, Top Water Company is investing US$1.44 million in new water purification and bottling machine to boost its production capacity by 133%, reports Addis Fortune.
The new machine will boost will push up the production capacity of the company to 42,000 litres of water an hour from 18,000 litres.
It will be supplied by the Chinese Newamstar Packaging Machinery Co. specialises in the manufacture of bottled-water production machinery with key customers including Coca-Cola and Nestle.
Started two months ago, Top Water supplies its products in four sizes ranging from 0.35lt plastic bottles to 20lt water containers.
The owner of the company, Abebe Dinku Water & Non-Alcoholic Beverages Factory is said to have invested US$9.88 million in the new the plant.
With the investment, the company plans to hire 40 more employees after operations begin with the new machine to add to the current 143 it started with.
In June, company secured a quality certificate from the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise and Food, Medicine, Health Care Administration & Control Authority after being submitted to 54 laboratory tests.
Speaking on the development, Shimelis Ajemma, marketing manager of the company said: “Ethiopia’s water bottling business is untapped, and could be exploited.”
“This means the current water bottling companies cater only to five percent of the total consumption.
“Kenya, which has less than half the size of Ethiopia’s population, has 600 bottling companies that provide 37.7% of the country’s consumption.”
In Ethiopia, there are about 70 water bottlers producing nearly 3.5 billion litres of water a year, while the nation’s total water consumption stands at 72 billion litres, according to Addis Fortune.
Protecting the environment
To protect the environment, Shimelis said the company is also planning to recycle used plastic water bottles, and it has already installed a machine that grinds them into microplastic.
The ground materials will then be exported to China, where it can be used in the manufacture of furniture, textiles and building materials.
For its recycling program, the company has recruited 10 youth associations who will collect used bottles and deliver them to the plant.
According to Andualem Mekonnen (PhD), an expert in the field of environmental science, Top Water is the 16th company to launch the same recycling program.