With an investment of 8.8 million birr (about $262 million), Abay Cement Factory is set to boost Ethiopia’s annul cement production capacity by 2.5 million tons.
The construction of Abay Cement Factory, is completed 60% and is set to commence operation next year, according to Mr. Samuel Halala, Director of Ethiopian Chemical and Construction Inputs Industry Development Institute. Located in Amhara Region of Ethiopia around Degen area, Abay Cement Factory by Abay Industrial Development Association will create 1,500 jobs when it goes fully operational.
Speaking to the state daily Amharuic Newspaper, Addis Zemen, he indicated that when the Abay Cement will be among the biggest cement factories in Ethiopia like that of Dangote, Derba, Messebo, and Mugher cement factories, which each has about 2.5 million tons of cement production capacity per year.
In Ethiopia a total of about 21 cement factories have potential of producing up to 17 million tons of cement every year though only 14 of the factories are active now, according to the director. Most of the factories have been producing below their production capacity.
On average the factories are using 60 percent of their production capacity, according Mr. Samuel, who stated that currently all the 14 active cement factories in Ethiopia are producing 11.5 million tons of cement per year.
He stated that the construction sector in Ethiopia has been growing by 22 percent annually.
The price of cement has also doubled in over the past few weeks after the major manufacturers in Ethiopia namely, Derba, Dangote and Habesha cement factories have suspended operation due to maintenance. Currently a sack of cement (50 kg), which used to be sold for 230 birr (about $7) has increased to 400 birr (about $12), according to Mr. Samuel.
He noted that every year government spends $220 million hard currency for coal import and $137 million for packaging to meet the demands of the cement factories found in Ethiopia.