By: Dawit Astatike
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia Today), April 13, 2023: East African Holding, a parent organization of the National Cement SC, signed a 243 million USD agreement with the Chinese West International Holding to conduct the first-phase extension of its cement plant in Dire Dawa.
Under the agreement signed on Tuesday, Sinoma will handle the engineering, procurement, and construction work for the Melka-Jebdu Industrial Park Development Project, consisting of cement and metals factories as well as a lime production plant in the city of Dire Dawa.
The first-phase expansion work is expected to boost the factory’s annual production capacity to three million tons of cement and 700,000 tons of iron. The total expansion work is said to consume about 546 million USD.
“Urban and Infrastructure Minister Chaltu Sani said the new plant will have a significant contribution to boosting Ethiopia’s cement production and galvanizing development projects.” Chaltu Sani, Minister of Urban Development and Infrastructure,said
Noting that the construction sector has been challenged by a shortage of inputs, including cement, the minister expressed her optimism over the factory’s contribution to filling the gap. “The government will extend the necessary support to the speedy execution of this plant.”
“Sinoma International has a reputation for executing projects with ultimate quality and in a timely manner in Ethiopia, and we have the belief that it will replicate such success in the new project.”
Ethiopia is endowed with abundant resources to produce cement, gypsum, and iron, and the government aims to employ such big mills not only to satisfy the local demand but also to export cement, Chaltu remarked.
The East African Holding Board Chairperson, Bizuayehu Tadelle said Dire Dawa’s geographic proximity to the Ethio-Djibouti corridor, the country’s main import-export line, is the factor behind the new investment.
He further noted that the plan was set to commence first-phase production within a year. “The project will be laid on the 106 hectare land in Dire Dawa’s Jebdu Industrial Park, and this first phase costs us 243 million USD while the overall project will be carried out at an outlay of 546 million USD.”
According to Chairman Wang Fayin, the factory will bring immense benefit to the local community by providing a sizable number of permanent and temporary jobs.
A representative from the contractor for the project, Sinoma International, Lin Zhong, pledged to complete the factory’s construction per the agreement’s timeline.
It was learned that the extension project will enable the expansion of the production capacity of the National Cement Company, a member of East African Holding, which already has a cement mill in Dire Dawa.