Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Coca Cola to Kick Off Bahir Dar Plant Construction

East African Bottling Company, the Coca Cola producer, received 30ha of land from the Bahir Dar city administration to build its third coca cola factory in Ethiopia at an outlay of 800 million Birr.

This is part of the 500 million dollar investment, which the company launched in April 2012, to be carried out by 2020. This plan includes three new plants, including one in Hawassa and another one in western Ethiopia, whose construction depends on the performance of the companyÂ’s other lines.

The construction of the new factory, which will begin early in 2013, and be completed in a yearÂ’s time, is prompted by Ethiopia being Coca ColaÂ’s fourth most important market in Africa after South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, says Greig Jansen, managing director of the company. Currently, the company has factories in Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa.

Greig Janson, managing director of East African Bottling Company standing in front of the new plastic factory building his company is constructing.

The new site in Bahir Dar was surveyed by the companyÂ’s team from South Africa in terms of accessibility of water, drainage and roads.

The company has signed on Elmi-Olindo to undertake the construction. This company has been undertaking rehabilitation and expansion projects for East Africa Bottling since 2001.

Elmi-Olindo is already constructing a G+13 plastic factory for East Africa Bottling. The factory, whose construction is expected to be over in November, will produce plastic bottles for water, soft drinks and juices, says Greig.

Currently the company, which employs 1,500 people in Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa, produces 605 million bottles of soft drinks a year. It imports the raw materials from Middle East countries, such as Israel and Turkey.

Coca-Cola was first bottled in EthiopiaÂ’s capital Addis Ababa in 1959 by the Ethiopian Bottling Share Company, which later opened a second branch in Dire Dawa in 1965. The two plants were nationalized in 1975 and ran as public companies until 1996, when they were bought by Ethiopian investors. The South African Beverage Company (SABCO) now holds 82pc share in the company.

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