|Derba MIDROC Cement factory|
Derba MIDROC Cement Plc, Ethiopia’s biggest cement factory, was inaugurated on Sunday in the presence of Prime Miniter Meles Zenawi and other invited guests in a ceremony held on the premises of the factory.
MIDROC Ethiopia Group, a company owned by Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire, Sheik Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, built the 351 million dollar plant. The factory located about 70km northwest of the capital, Addis Ababa, would produce 8,000 metric tons of cement daily.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on the occasion said the plant would contribute a lot to the ongoing development of Ethiopia’s industry sector. It would also help meet the increasing demand for cement in the country to construction sector, he said. The plant will raise the country’s annual cement production capacity to over 9 million tons.
Sheik Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, who is currently one of the biggest investors in the Horn of Africa, for his part said MIDROC would continue to contribute share to the national endeavor towards development.
In this regard MIDROC has set plan to build gypsum and marble factories in the coming ten years at a cost of 100 billion Birr, he said. Ethiopia plans to boost output by 10-fold by mid-2015 to 27 million tons, according to the government.
DMC would add 2.5 million tons of cement per year to the existing cement production capacity, while expansions projects to Mosobo Building Materials Production Plc and state-owned Mugher Cement Enterprise would put in another 1 million. DMC, built by China National Building Materials Co., may earn more than 2 billion Birr (115.9 million dollars) annually, project manager, Tadesse Kebede said. “If everything goes well, it will be a cash cow,” he said.
MIDROC Ethiopia Group invested 100 million dollars in the operation, with European Investment Bank, African Development Bank, International Finance Corp. and Development Bank of Ethiopia providing the rest of the funds. The project was delayed for “almost one year” because obtaining the loans took longer than expected, Tadesse said. “To work with multilateral banks is very difficult,” he said. (ERTA)