The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Israel to Finance Wolkayit Sugar Project

An Israel construction company, Natifa, secured a loan to be used to finance the Wolkayit Sugar development project from an Israeli bank. Reliable sources told The Reporter that Natifa has been negotiating with Israeli banks that could finance the Wolkayit Sugar factory that the Ethiopian Government planned to build in the Tigrai Regional State. Sources said that Natifa secured more than 100 million dollars loan for the project from an Israeli bank. Natifa is working with a local construction company, Yemane Girmay Construction. The public relations department of the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation said it is not aware of the said loan agreement. However, sources said that a loan agreement will be signed by the governments of Israel and Ethiopia in the near future.

Located at Tigray Regional State 1,350 km from Addis Ababa, Western Zone, Wolkayit Woreda, the Wolkayit Sugar project is one of the ten new sugar factories that the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation is building in different parts of the country.

According to the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation, the Wolkayit Sugar project will have one sugar factory with a cane crushing capacity of 24,000 tons a day that enables it to produce 484,000 tons of sugar and 20,827 cubic meter ethanol per annum.

It will have 45,000 hectares of sugarcane plantation field getting its water supply from Zarriema River over which a dam known by the name "May-Day Dam" will be built. The construction work of the dam is currently being carried out by a domestic private company - Sur Construction Private Limited Company. The dam upon completion will have 840 meter width and 135.5 meter height. The dam will have a capacity of holding 3,497,000,000 cubic meter of water. The sugar cane plantation is projected to produce 140 tons of sugarcane per hectare.

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