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BusinessGlassmaker to set up USD 70 mln plant in Ethiopia

Glassmaker to set up USD 70 mln plant in Ethiopia

A new entrant to the Ethiopian packaging market, Juniper Glass Industries PLC (Juniper Glass), announced that it has finalized all regulatory and merger requirements that enables the company to form a consortium with two other companies to invest USD 70 million in Ethiopia to set up a glass manufacturing Greenfield plant.

According to the release Juniper Glass distributed, the plant that is to be built in Ethiopia will have a capacity of producing 60,000 tons of glass per year which equates approximately to 200 million glass bottles.

Juniper Glass announced on Wednesday that it has secured a go-ahead approval from the US regulatory agencies and set to invest USD 70 million in collaboration with CONSOL Glass and Roha Ventures. Brooks Washington, CEO of Juniper, said that earlier the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) has approved a USD 25 million (equivalent to 565 million birr). That financing, according to the CEO, is part of the 70 million dollars Juniper said will be investing on the project.

CONSOL Glass is one of the leading glass packaging manufacturers in Africa where its operations are mainly based in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. From these countries, the manufacturer exports to 17 countries in the Sub-Saharan Region.  Roha Ventures on the other hand is known as a Greenfield investment company developing new businesses in Africa.

Currently, the trio have joined forces to build a plant that is expected to supply both local and export markets. The glassmaker says it has conferred with bottlers in Ethiopia in a view to substitute imports of glass packing and containers.

Set to become operational in 18 months, Juniper posted that it has acquired a silica depositary site near the factory. “We have partnered with a team of local entrepreneurs to develop a new silica sand deposit nearby. This will allow us to source 90 percent of our raw materials locally. When work is complete, the deposit will provide jobs to the local community, ensure high-quality raw materials for Juniper Glass, and be a leader in silica production for Ethiopia”, the company stated.

Currently, the only glass manufacturer in Ethiopia, Addis Abba Bottle and Glass SC (AAB&G) is investing some one billion birr to produce 153 million bottles per year. The 40-year old company was recently privatized and co-owned by Ethiopian and Chinese investors. The country’s annual demand for glass bottles remains at 265 million annually and the coming of Juniper together with the expansions AAB&G undertake will create surplus productions.

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