ETHIOPIA – The 40-year-old Addis Abeba Bottle & Glass Company has completed an expansion project worth half a billion birr.

With this, it has increased its capacity to 81 million bottles a year. As it stands, it has a capacity of producing less than quarter this amount – 20 million bottles.

“This is a third of the planned three-phased expansion worth 1.5 billion Br commissioned a year ago,” said Semene Bekele, deputy CEO of the Company.

“The Company will boost its capacity eightfold.”

When the ownership of company was transferred from the state to a local company, Bazeto, five years ago, the latter paid 61 million Br for the acquisition.

Five years down the line, the capital value is estimated to have grown to half a billion birr.

In 2015, the ownership changed to a 50-50 share between Ethiopian Bazeto Industries & Trading Plc and the Chinese, Greatop. Before that, it was solely owned by Bazeto.

The expansion was pre-empted by the growing demand of glass resulting from the entry of giant international firms into Ethiopia’s brewing industry and the expansion of existing ones.

A feasibility study conducted by the Company indicated that the country has an annual demand of approximately 265 million bottles.

The expansion is carried out inside the Company’s premises near the Mickey Leland condominium sites, north-west of the capital, along the Ambo Road.

The Company rests on eight hectares of land and has built a new line with state-of-the-art facilities.

For instance, the machine that processes the whole production was imported from the Italian company, BDF Industries.

The construction work was done jointly by Cabew Construction Plc, an affiliate of Bazeto, and Sigma Electric Plc. The latter has undertaken the steel work of the factory. Moreover, the machine installation and commissioning was done by BDF itself.

As one enters to the factory, beer crates full of bottles, such as Dashen, BGI’s St George, Diaego’s Meta and Raya are seen being processed.

“We are working with almost all brewer factories,” said Semen

Moreover, Addis supplies bottles for cosmetics companies and agro processing plants.

One also can see a mountain of cullet (broken pieces of glass), which is used as a raw material. It covers 40pc of the share or input used to produce bottles. The rest includes silica sand, soda ash and marble stone.

As a part of its efforts to minimise the dust that affects residential areas nearby, Addis will move its warehouse to Sululta, 25km north.

Addis is the first of three glass factories in Ethiopia. There are now also the Ethio Hanssam International Plc and Daylight Applied Technologies, with production capacities of 42,000 and 20,000tn, respectively.

Moreover, companies such as Juniper Glass Industries Plc also started the construction of its plant in Debre Berhan in April 2015, with a production capacity of 150 million bottles a year.

Goda Glass & Bottling, in Tigray, and Allied Chemical Plc are also expected to have factories with capacities of 90 and 50tn a day, respectively.

The remaining two phases are planned to be completed within ten months and one and a half years, respectively.

Around 300 job opportunities are said to be created.

In 2015, Ethiopia has imported 1.9 million kg of glass, which serves for drinking purposes and is worth 39.7 million Br – 10pc up on the preceding year.

August 10, 2016;