ADDIS ABABA – Tana Beles -1 Sugar Factory, one of largest sugar mill in Ethiopia, officially started its production on Sunday.
Tana Beles is located in Amhara Regional State’s Jawwi district, some 576 kilometres north west of Addis Ababa.
The factory which had started cane crushing on May 18, 2021 has made a trial production of white sugar on May 29, last week.
On Sunday afternoon, Prime Minister Abiy and other government officials attended the inaugural ceremony of the factory which was originally scheduled to begin operation in 2014.
Abiy said completing Beles Sugar factory, which passes through various challenges since its inception 60 years ago, was not an easy ride.
His administration had to terminate its agreement with the then Metal and Engineering Corporation (MeTEC) in 2018 after a prolonged delay in the construction of the project incurred high bankruptcy, according to Ethiopian Sugar Corporation (ESC).
The government then gave the project to China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd. (CAMCE), which carried out the remaining works of the Factory.
“Delayed for over 8 years, the vision for prosperity we embarked upon 3 years ago has enabled us to fast track projects to completion,” the PM said.
Officials announced the government spent a total of 231 million US dollars to carry out the construction project.
Abiy said the factory now “is key to building a competitive sugar industry” in Ethiopia.
Officials expect the new factory to help the country fill in the growing sugar demand in the East African nation.
Reports say annual sugar demand per individual is estimated at 10 kg while the current supply per individual stands at 7kg. The country imports up to 200,000 tons of sugar per year to fill in the demand.
The newly inaugurated factory, while entering into its first phase of regular production concluding its trial, is expected to produce 6 thousand quintals of sugar a day, according to the ESC.
When it, in the second phase, starts working with its full design capacity, it will have a capacity of producing 12 thousand quintals of white sugar per day, the Corporation added.