Investors Voice Concern Over Recurrent Blackouts at Adama Industrial Park

ADDIS ABABA – Investors operating inside the Adama Industrial Park (AIP) are voicing their concern over recurrent electric power interruption in their manufacturing plant.

One of the factories affected by frequent power cuts is Sunshine Ethiopia Wool manufacturing enterprise, which has been active in the park since 2016, with a registered investment capital of 350 million US dollars.

The factory has been affected by the ongoing frequent electric power interruptions, Chen Min, General Manager of the factory told The Daily Monitor.

This has put uncertainty in the company’s ambition to expand, Min added.

The general manager also noted that his factory had encountered total blackout for at least five days since last Wednesday, eventually halting operations inside the plant.

“Such power issues are hampering the factory’s production capacity, and hundreds of employees are stranded inside the factory awaiting the return of light every day,” Chen said.

The Chinese textile firm, when operating under normal circumstances, has an annual production capacity of 10 million metrics of wool fabrics, according to the general manager.

In addition to challenges attributed to recurrent electricity blackouts, investors also expressed their concern over the belated waste-water treatment scheme at the industrial park.

The waste-water treatment system, which was the Ethiopian government previously assured investors to install on time, is yet to be finalized.

The issue has forced factories to unnecessary financial expenses, according to the head of Sunshine Ethiopia Wool.

“It poses another challenge to our factory because we can’t afford trucks to transport 260 tons of industrial waste every day or to take out waste from the factory,” Chen said.

Chen, who recalled recent improvements to the park’s waste-water treatment system, also said that “in spite of some improvement in comparison to the previous years, we are still in a critical condition.”

Sunshine Ethiopia Wool, which currently operates with 700 employees, also expects to add more 1000 jobs soon with full electric energy supply, according to the general manager.

The Chinese firm also disclosed its plan to further increase its investment in Ethiopia up to 980 million US dollars as part of its two investment phases.

The company’s working force is also expected to enlarge to more than 7000 jobs when the first phase is completed. The total job opportunities are also expected to reach 20,000, Chen said.

The company’s current export value of over 10 million US dollars is also expected to reach close to 50 million US dollars when it operates with full capacity.