Radar | Jun 20,2020
Oct 5 , 2019
By TEMESGEN MULUGETA ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
A local investment firm has simultaneously built two water bottling plants in separate parts of Oromia Regional State with a 600 million Br investment.
Gold Group set up the Gold Still Water Bottling Plant at the Taxeq Industry Zone in Burayu in Oromia Regional State and Gold Sparkling Water Plant in Ambo town in Oromia Regional State, 124Km from the capital.
The brand will be joining the growing market that now has 87 water bottling companies operating in the country and that produces more than 3.5 billion litres of water a year. These companies supply just five percent of national consumption, while the nation has a population above 100 million. This is far lower than Kenya, which has 600 water bottling companies for a population of 51 million.
The construction of Gold Still, which rests on 30,000Sqm of land, was started four years ago. The plant has a production capacity of bottling 30,000 water bottles in 330ml, one litre, two-litre and 20-litre bottles an hour, and it is expected to join the market in three weeks.
Resting on two hectares of land, Gold Sparkling Water Plant will have a production capacity of 24,000lt of sparkling water an hour and is expected to enter the market after six months with a half-litre bottle. When it becomes operational, it is expected to create 120 jobs.
Gold Still is expected to create job opportunities for 300 people and has two production lines, which carry out plastic bottle forming, filling and packaging activities. The owners of the company plan to increase the production to 100,000lt an hour in the coming one and a half years.
"Our target market is local consumers, and we have a plan to increase the availability of the product by offering door to door service to our customers," said Biruk Adugna, managing director of Gold.
Gold Group Construction, a construction firm under Gold Group, constructed the two plants. For the first plant, the company imported ASG and Tecklong machinery from China. The second plant received Krones machinery from Germany. For both plants, the company uses spring water.
During the construction of the two plants, the company was challenged with the continuous increase in the price of construction materials, according to Biruk.
Gold Group, which was established six years ago and is engaged in the manufacturing, hotel and resort, construction and real estate sectors, plans to export the product to East African countries when a planned expansion project is finalised, according to Sisay Mengesha, marketing and sales manager at Gold Group.
Getie Andualem (PhD), an associate professor in Addis Abeba University's marketing department, sized up the company's investment.
"Besides opening new job opportunities," said Getie, "the plants will be instrumental in responding to the increasing demand for bottled water."
Getie also says that local bottled water companies sell their product for the same price, which is relatively expensive compared to Kenya.
There should be a variety of prices for different water products bottled in the country, depending on the quality of the product and the cost of production, he recommended.
PUBLISHED ON Oct 05,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1014]
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