ETHIOPIA – East African Bottling S.C (EABSC) started the construction of a 420-million Br plant two weeks ago in Bahir Dar, in the Amhara Regional State.
The plant, constructed on a 30ha plot, is a part of a 500 million-dollar investment, which the company launched in April 2012. The plan includes three new plants, including one in Hawassa and another one in western Ethiopia and implementation will be completed by 2020.
EABSC produces and bottles beverages including those from the Fanta group, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Schweppes, Coke Light and Dasani bottled water.
The market in Ethiopia is considered as one of the largest and fastest growing markets in Africa, Herbert Nuwamanya, country sales and marketing manager at EABSC told Fortune. Ethiopia is also considered as one of the more lucrative markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The construction in Bahir Dar will be undertaken by Elmi-Olindo Plc, a local construction company with a history of building different beverage plants including East African’s bottling plant in Dire Dawa.
The company has also been undertaking different rehabilitation and expansion projects for East African Bottling since 2001.
Coca-Cola was first bottled in Ethiopia in Addis Abeba in 1959 by the Ethiopian Bottling Share Company, which later opened a second branch in Dire Dawa in 1965. The two plants were nationalised in 1975 and ran as public companies till 1996, when they were purchased by Ethiopian investors.
The South African Beverage Company (SABCo) now holds an 82pc share in the company whereas the remaining are owned by individual businesspeople, the original shareholders, Munir Duri, CEO of Kifya Financial Technology and Negussie Hailu and as well as Dereje Yesuwork, and Abinet Gebremeskel, who is a close confidante of the Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi.
Over the past two years alone, Coca Cola has invested 200 million dollars in Ethiopia. In addition, it plans to invest more than 350 million dollars in the coming three years, according to the statement by Nuwamanya.
It has registered 47pc growth in terms of gross sale for the current year so far, which is the highest growth rate in sales in the Coca Cola franchise and 15pc achievement of last year, according to Nuwamanya.
The plant in Bahir Dar is expected to be inaugurated within 18 month’s time and it will have one production line with a capacity of 15 million cases a year.