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The first locally manufactured bath fitting factory is rolling out its product line this week. The 45 million birr factory constructed by Indian owned Salasar Compounds Private Limited Company is manufacturing the Abay brand products that cover faucets for kitchen and bathrooms.
The bath fittings come in three types; Diamond, Eco and Classic. All have anti-rust qualities and can be used for all kinds of kitchen and bathroom faucets. The company says within a range of six months they plan have 20 products to choose from.
Tadese Haile state minister of Industry, who was at the launching ceremony, said manufacturing these types of products locally shows the company’s commitment to transferring technology. It is a significant achievement, he added, because it will save foreign currency, provide jobs for Ethiopians, and create a value added product.
“Over the past eight years, Ethiopia has had an eight percent annual growth rate and an export growth of an average of 20 percent. This is partially a result of the resources being put into industrialization in Ethiopia,” said Tadesse.
Rajeev Kumar, country manager of Salasar Compounds PLC said the bath fittings are made exclusively of copper and brass and are a bit heavier than other similar imported products. However, they are easily for everyone to use and they come with a seven year guarantee.
Nandki Shore, Maniyar, owner of Salasar Compounds PLC, said the factory’s products initial response has been excellent with the factory currently producing 2,000 single tap bath fittings every day and 3,000 pieces of mixer bath fittings every day.
Salasar currently has about 70 employees working during one day shift. In the future it plans to increase the workforce to 200 in five months and have three shifts running 24 hours. He also said the product price is 10-15 percent more expensive locally but the durability, reliability and longevity of their bath fittings products will make them popular.
Tadesse, said that they mold the products into international standard from the scrap they get locally, contributing to technology transfer while making it harder to sell a fake product because of its presence locally.
The MoI estimates that Ethiopia spends up to 360 million birr on importing bath fittings and related products.
Salasar Compounds PL C has been investing in Ethiopia since 2004. At first it printed ink at its compound in Adama, 99Km south east of Addis Ababa, the sight of the new bath fitting factory.