ETHIOPIA – The National Alcohol & Liquor Factory (NALF) has completed the first phase of a half billion Br expansion project which took almost two years to finalize.

Out of 400 million Br budget approved for the whole expansion, the company spent half of the budget on the first phase of the expansion.

Of the factory’s alcohol production, 96pc is for uses ranging from medical purposes to electronic equipment cleaning, as well as 14 different kinds of liquor ranging in alcohol content from 15pc to 45pc. Out of its total production volume, 80pc is araqe.

Once the first phase of the project is operational, the factory will also introduce a vodka plant facility.

Work on the expansion began in 2013. As a state-owned enterprise, the factory secured 40pc of the financing for the expansion from the government and the rest as a loan from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

The Company established when three liquor factories were nationalised in 1976.

The expansion project will raise the factory’s existing production capacity of 5,000lt per day by three fold.

“We spent two years in budget approval, studying the expansion and securing building permits,” NALF CEO Hailemariam Gidey said.

The remaining 200 million Br of the budget will be used for the second phase project which is expected to boost the production to 18,000lt per day.

The plants are located near the Awash Wine Factory on Guinea-Bissau Street in the Mekanisa area and near D’Afrique Hotel on Ras Wolde Mikhael Street in the Mexico area, as well as in Sebeta Town, 24km west of the capital in Oromia Regional State.

The first phase of the project is the plant at Mekanisa, with the second phase including the plants in Mexico and Sebeta.

Construction Design S.C. was contracted to design and supervise the construction of the project for a little over 2.8 million Br, while the civil work was carried out by a project office under the factory.

The expansion will add 12,500sqm to the existing 5,000 sqm of the Mekanisa plant. The machinery to stock the expansion was bought from Italy. The Mexico project will be turned into a headquarters.

An additional 120 staff members were added to the existing 730 permanent and temporary employees of the factory, which formerly had a small branch in Aqaqi that has since been closed.

Currently, the factory claims that it has a 42pc share of the national market. The company was also targeting South Sudan as its potential market.

Last year, the company reports 475 million Br of sales and 132 million Br before tax. In addition, over the past six months of the current fiscal year, it registered sales of 297 million Br.

“The exports stopped because of the ongoing conflicts in the country,” said Hailemariam. “We have insignificant outreach in East African countries including Kenya and Uganda.”

“The biggest share came from the market from South Sudan,” he added.

There are around 20 alcohol producers in Ethiopia and the per capita consumption of the country is estimated to be 4.3 lt.

February 10, 2017;