- 12 billion birr worth of products manufactured locally
In an effort to supply inputs to the chemical and related industries locally, work is under way to install six major petrochemical refineries in the country.
According to Deyessa Letta, deputy director of the Chemical and Construction Industries Development Institute, the Ministry of Industry is in the process of setting up petrochemical refineries thanks to the availability of natural gas in the country.
The deputy director said that the ministry is finalizing feasibility studies with a UK-based company, which he declined to name. Following natural gas production in the Ogaden area, petrochemical inputs such as polypropylene and polyethylene – the major inputs for plastics, packaging and the like – are now being manufactured locally.
According to Girma Regassa, acting director of the pulp, paper and packaging industries at the institute, the plastic industry is faced with huge supply gaps as the demand for petrochemical inputs is very high. The four-billion birr sector, however, is facing a severe raw material shortage because the packaging industry is at its infancy to meet demand. The paper, pulp and the packaging manufacturing plants are still struggling even though the industry has been around for half a century, Grima said.
Yonas Abate, plastics and related materials directorate director, on his part, said that the rubber industry in the country is one of the most promising. He claims there are only four companies in Africa that manufacture rubber and related products. One of them is Horizon Addis Tyre PLC which covers 30 to 35 percent of the rubber production of the country. But, according to estimates, some 180 million dollars’ worth of rubbers products are imported annually.
Yet, plantation of rubber trees is well underway by the government on a 10,000-hectare land to meet the growing demand for raw materials in the chemical industry sector, the official said. The rubber industry alone created job opportunities for 19,000 people, Yonas said.
There are 350 manufacturing plants substituting some 12 billion birr wroth of imported items. According to Yonas, polyvinyl chloride coated door and window profiles, aluminum frames, PP bags, trunk box, ceiling and wall partitions, tyres ranging from three wheeled vehicles to heavy-duty trucks, foams and the like are some of the products locally manufactured currently.
With a view to promoting the packaging, printing, petrochemicals, plastics and paper (5Ps) industries in the country, a specialized trade expo has become a regular venue for local and international companies to converge and showcase their products in Addis Ababa.
Hence, ShakCrux Trade and Events Management PLC announced that the 6th Ethio5P International Expo is scheduled to be held from April 29 to May 2 at the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center. Aklille Belete, general manager of ShakCrux, said that, a total of 100 companies, 67 of them foreign-based and mostly from Egypt and China, are expected to take part in the expo.