Ethiopian to double capacity amid construction boom

Ethiopian to double capacity amid construction boom
Published: 23 May 2011

Ethiopia will more than double its capacity after a new factory and two enlarged plants begin production later this year amid a building boom in the country, a government official said.

The increase is expected to help end the need for imports by as early as next year, according to Shimeles Wolde, head of the Chemical and Allied Industries Directorate in the Industry Ministry. In recent years, Ethiopia imported about 1Mta of cement to meet demand of about 8Mt, Shimeles said in an interview.

“In 2012, there should not be that much need for importing cement,” Shimeles said today in Addis Ababa, the capital. “In 2012 or early 2013, supply and demand should be balanced.”

Ethiopia licensed 36 companies including Lafarge and Dangote to help it meet a target of producing as much as 27Mta of cement by 2015, Shimeles said. Demand for cement may be met by the end of next year, when the completion of 22 projects takes annual production to 13.5Mt from 2.7Mt now, he said.

Ethiopia’s economy expanded an average of 11 per cent over the past seven years, International Monetary Fund data shows. The government is targeting growth of as much as 14.9 per cent over the next five years. A construction boom led by state investment in low-cost housing, roads, dams and universities, has left domestic supply short of demand, which is increasing at as much as 25 per cent every year, Shimeles said.