My Opinion | Jan 07,2022
A new bottled water brand, Tena Water, will join the thriving water bottling industry.
Built in Soro wereda, Hadiya Zone in the Southern region of the country, the project is owned by Bereket Bottled Drinking Water Plc, which invested a total of 120 million Br in the project. The plant sits on 30,000Sqm of land, while the production unit occupies 2,318Sqm.
With a production capacity of 15,000 half-litre bottles of water an hour, new machinery imported from a Chinese company for 1.5 million dollars, the plant is currently being installed.
"The spring water resource of the area and unavailability of other water bottling companies in the zone caused me to invest in this business," said Ayele Erkalo, founder of the company, who has been in the hospitality and transport business for the past two decades.
The factory has been under construction by Caraba Steelwork & Engineering Plc for the past three years and is expected to be finalised and become operational in three months. The plant is expected to create jobs for 200 to 250 individuals.
Upon completion, the company will bottle water, sourced from a spring in 350ml, half litre, one litre, 1.5Lt and two litre sizes.
Getting foreign currency to finalise the project on time was the major challenge faced by the company, according to Hiruy Getachew, project manager of Tena Water.
The zone's investment bureau granted support to the company, according to Mitku Zeleke, acting director of the zone's investment bureau, which has registered 251 investments with a total investment value of 1.4 billion Br, of which 84 of the projects are agricultural and 39 are industrial.
"We granted the company duty-free privileges for the import of the machinery," Mitku told Fortune.
As a corporate social responsibility, the management of the company plans to donate 0.2pc of the revenues for an orphanage, according to Ayele.
Tena will join 76 other bottled water brands that are in the market duly registered and certified by the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise.
The company has secured a certificate from the Enterprise, according to Sirgut Wolde, certification director at the Enterprise.
Demands for bottled water is pushing the number of bottling companies higher, according to Amare Wesene, a former general manager of Aqua Safe Water, one of the pioneer water bottlers.
"The increase of disposable income is also a factor for the demand increase," Amare said.
Though the demand for bottled water has increased, the existing 76 companies supply just five percent of total consumption in a country with a population of above 100 million. This is far below neighbouring Kenya, which has a population of 51 million and has 600 water bottling companies.
PUBLISHED ON Sep 24,2018 [ VOL 19 , NO 971]
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