ETHIOPIA – European investors have pumped US$12.44 million into the establishment of a new liquor factory, Komari Beverages Plc in Amhara Regional State, reports the AddisFortune.

Komari Beverages Plc, the 13th liquor processing plant in the country will have a production capacity of bottling and packaging 27,000 bottles an hour, processing whiskey, rum and vodka.

The plant will be located in one of the state’s potential areas allotted for manufacturing and agro-processing investments in textiles, food, beverages and poultry in a four hectare land.

The company plans to bottle four million litres of whiskey, vodka and rum a year with alcoholic content ranging between 20% and 40% in addition to offering a variety of different flavours.

Ojeuna Mekconenn, Komari Beverage Plc Deputy CEO, said that the company has hired a local firm that will work on the engineering design of the factory, which will employ a total of 350 employees.

“The construction of the plant will start in half a year.

Once the design is done, we will float a tender to hire a company for the civil work,” said Ojeuna Mekconenn.

Mulugeta G. Medhin, a marketing expert appreciates the entrance of the new foreign direct investment into the country but however points out the negative social effect of alcohol consumption.

“The government should scrutinise policies and regulation on utilisation and promotion of alcoholic products,” said Mulugeta G. Medhin.

Recently, the government drafted a bill that requires alcohol manufacturers to post warnings stating that consuming alcohol has health hazards and restricts advertisement of alcoholic drinks by time and place.

The new bill, which is pending in parliament for legislation, also prohibits trade promotions in public spaces, events and holidays by drinks that contain more that 10pc alcohol content.

Komari, which acquired a business license in March 2018 from the Ministry of Trade & Industry, will be joining 11 registered alcoholic beverage producers.

Meanwhile, the pioneer and leading alcohol producer, National Alcohol & Liquor Factory recorded US$4.35million in profit in the last fiscal year with total sales amounting to US$21.58 million.

The company was up for privatisation, and Lominat Beverage Plc made the highest offer of US$969.98 million to acquire the factory.