30 January 2017

Sudan: Textile Industry Is Recovering After Years of Deterioration

Khartoum — Ministry of industry has prepared a rehabilitation program targets textile industry.

The program initiated in 1994 during the era of former minister Jalal Yousif AL Digar. However, the program was not progressed smoothly according to the plan except recently after the ministry was able to contract with an Indian company named Luck. The Indian company has commenced a rehabilitation program targeting three existing textile plants in Kost, Dewaim in White Nile state, and Shandi, in Nahrel Neil. The rehabilitation completed successfully setting textile industry on recovery after years of deterioration.

Sudanow examines the efforts exerted by the ministry in the rehabilitation program, the constraints and possible prosperous future of textile industry in the country.

Engineer Saad Mustafa Ibrahim, in charge of the rehabilitation program in the ministry, told Sudanow that the ministry contracted with an Indian company (Luck) specialized in rehabilitation and installation of loom machines based on Key project deal. The contract includes rehabilitation of the three textile factories in Kosti, Dewam and Shandi, said engineer Ibrahim. The cost of the rehabilitation program according to engineer Ibrhim worth US$3m. The contracting company at first started with civil engineering as a program priority covering the three factories then it installed the machines on one after one basis to avoid possible mistakes on implementation process, Ibrahim said. For machines origin Ibrahim said they were manufactured by Bouter (a German company) specialized in manufacturing looming machines. The rehabilitation program of the three factories completed and operational process started in 2014.

"By introduction of these new machines, the operational system shifted from shuttle, less to shuttle looms, Ibrahim noted. The new machines computerized and designed with high-speed. The entire capacity production of three plants totaled to 30000000 meters of textile per year comparable to only 15000000 before rehabilitation program. Engineer Ibrahim explains that the advantage of German made computerized, high speed looming machines decreases maintenance rotation and use of environment friendly gases. Nearly 90 machines installed in each factory. Electricity system also upgraded from 11000 voltages to 33000 voltages. A boiler and air conditioning unit were also installed to keep relative humidity inside the production hall at 65 percent and temperature between 27 to 30 percent. This, according to engineer Ibrahim, help in processing cotton into textile product. The adaptation of environment inside the production hall and upgrading of electrify system worth SDG14m, noted Ibrahim. The three factories have actually started production since 2014. They start producing military uniforms and civil dressings, bed sheets, and other textile products of various styles according to public demands.

Sudan has been a pioneer in textile industry in Africa since 1970s. The private sector at that time run about six textile factories in Khartoum North and Gezira. The famous factories were the Sudanese textile factory owned by late Khalil Othman, the Japanese factory (both of them located in Khartoum North) besides AL Huda textile factory located in Medani, capital of Gezira state. The Sudanese textile factory was the largest textile in Africa employing over 9000 working force, said one of the teaching staff at Sudan University of Science and Technology (SUST) on condition of anonymity. However, he said since the government-halted protection as part of privatization then economic sanctions were imposed the textile industry deteriorated. Adding to this he said fluctuated power supply, brain drain, and high rating forced investors' deserted investment in the field.

It seems likely that things are now changing to better according to head of textile engineering at faculty of industrial engineering department at (SUST) Dr. Ramadan Mohamed Ahmed Awad. He said he believes that the textile industry is recovering. Dr. Awad as an academician in this field said he follows the ministry of industry efforts on promotion and rehabilitation of textile sector. Investors from Turkey, Qatar and Sudan formed international company named Suwar as joint venture to run textile i business in Sudan. The ministry of industry confirms that Suwar international company is now operating and producing textile products at Hassahisa Friendship Textile Factory as from 1st of January 2017. Moreover the same company runs the three textile factories in Kosti, Dewam and Shandi.

Teaching staff and students at Textile Engineering Faculty in SUST said textile industry could contribute in economic prosperity in the country. However, they demand government protection for local made textile products. The students have launched one-week exhibition at the faculty's campus in Khartoum North displaying textile materials they processed which show high quality color, finishing and packed in nice covers ready for sale.

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