ETHIOPIA – Juniper Glass Industries Plc is to open a factory on 12ht of land in Debre Birhan with a 50 million-dollar capital outlay.
“Without the need to make further feasibility studies, there is a growing demand for bottles in the country because with the launching of new beer factories the number of beer factories has doubled, which initiated the company to open its bottle factory,” Yared Mulgeta, special project manager at Juniper Glass Industries Plc told Fortune.
The company has a production capacity of 150 million bottles per year, targeting domestic and international markets. The raw materials required for the production of the bottles will be acquired locally.
The major raw material for bottles, silica sand, will be obtained from Debre Birhan whereas the other raw material, soda ash, will be imported, Yared said. The factory is expected to create job opportunities for 500 people.
Currently, there are only three glass and bottle factories in the country – Addis Abeba Bottle & Glass Factory, Ethio Hanssam International Plc and Daylight Applied Technologies. From these factories the largest one, Addis Abeba Bottle and Glass Factory has a production capacity of 30,000tn of glass sheet and bottles annually.
The company has an expansion project, which is expected to increase the production capacity by 50tn a day at its – factory site in Asko.
Ethio Hanssam International Plc is a glass-sheet factory with a production capacity of 42,000tns annually. The third operating company Daylight Applied Technologies has on its side, a production capacity of 20,000tns of bottle a year.
Including Juniper Glass Industries Plc and the expansion project of Addis Abeba Bottle & Glass Factory, there are currently four ongoing glass and bottle projects.
Goda Glass & Bottles Manufacturing S.C, a company in Tigray, is expected to have a production capacity of 90tn a day and is in the process of selling shares.
The fourth project, Allied Chemicals Plc, is expected to have a production capacity of 50tn a day.
Import data obtained from the Ethiopian Revenue & Tax Authority (ERCA) indicated that in 2014, 73,400tn of glass was imported, at a value of 1.19 billion Br. This figure had risen from 65,500tn worth 970 million Br in 2013. In 2012, the imported amount of glass was 56,400tn worth 732 million Br, increasing from 2011’s 40,000tns valued at 517 million Br.
The launching of these ongoing projects will meet the growing local demand for glass and bottles and reduce the billions spent on import bills, says Mengistu Getachew, director at the Ministry of Industry’s Glass Industry Development.
Mengistu mentioned the capital and energy intensive nature of the sector as challenges that discourage investment, adding that currently, investors are showing an interest in the sector because of the increasing demand.