Feb 15 , 2020

A new water bottling company joined the growing industry in Danglia town, Awi Zone of Amhara Regional State with a total investment of 62 million Br.

Kefeta Spring Water, a new plant founded by Sirajdin Hussen, rests on 1,800Sqm of land. The company secured a conformity certificate from the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise on December 19, 2019, and had a soft launch in the same month.

Fereja Dawud General Contractor, a five-year-old firm founded by Fereja Dawud that previously worked on construction related to telecom towering, was in charge of the civil work of the plant that took eight months. Haile Consultancy Architects & Engineering Plc, a four-year-old firm behind the construction of Wanzaye Lodge, a five-star hotel owned by the Amhara Development Association, supervised the construction of the plant.

The company imported ASG and Tecklong machinery, both automated, from China. Chenyu Packing Machinery supplied the machinery. HPC Chemical & Consulting, which was established in 2015 and produces food, cosmetics, soap and plastic, installed the machinery in two years.

The installation, the import and the launching of the plant took four years.

The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE) covered half of the investment, which the owner of the company used to procure the machinery.

Kefeta's water is produced from a 210m deep well, and the plant has a production line of five sizes of bottled waters ranging from 330ml to two litres and can bottle 18,000 of the smallest size bottles an hour.

The company started operations with 42 employees and plans to increase this to 72, according to Yesuf Endris, deputy general manager of Kefeta, which also plans to introduce a juice bottling plant after a year.

“We plan to increase our workforce as production ramps up,” said Yesuf.

All 97 bottled water companies in Ethiopia produce 3.7 billion litres of water a year, satisfying five percent of the water demand of the country.

“Our target market is the local consumer," said Yesuf, "and we plan to roll out extensively to the whole nation following next week.”

Along with the juice processing plant, the owners aspire to start production of IV glucose. Currently, they are preparing a proposal for the local investment commission to secure an investment license. The proposal includes a cost analysis and the production capacity of the plant.

Currently, they are awaiting approval from the Amhara Regional Health Bureau on the feasibility of the area to open an IV glucose production plant, according to Yesuf.

The company has received 8,000Sqm of land for the construction of the IV glucose plant. After getting a green light from the investment commission, the owners plan to import the machinery from Italy. The machinery would cost the owners close to 60 million Br.

The water bottling industry is getting more competitive, according to Getie Andualem (PhD), an associate professor at Addis Abeba University's Marketing Department.

"It's evident that it will create more job opportunities and will also contribute to addressing the current demand for water," he said.

Getie also says that the competitiveness of the industry will drive down the price of bottled water, thereby making it accessible to all types of consumers.

Getie also observed that most water bottlers end up opening juice bottling plants alongside their initial investment, utilising the wasted water that is not bottled for direct consumption.

"This should be encouraged," he said.

PUBLISHED ON Feb 15,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1033]

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