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An Israeli company that supplies a chemical for road construction announced plans to make the product in Ethiopia.
Zeev Halber, CEO of AnyWay Solid Environmental Solution (AnyWay), says that they were previously importing the inputs needed to make the chemical in Ethiopia but since they want to greatly expand the number of road projects they are involved in with here, they will begin, not only manufacturing the product here, but also exporting it to other countries.
The road construction solution has been a big seller for AnyWay as they have clients all over the world.
It was introduced into Ethiopia about seven years ago when the company undertook a project.
“The more we develop our business here in Ethiopia and the more projects we take on, the more we realize the need to produce the chemical locally. It is good for us and our customers because we will have a reasonable price for any projects as we will produce the chemical solution here,” Halber told Capital.
Issues with the process of importing the solution including customs procedures were factors in the company’s decision to set up the plant.
“Before the end of this year we will start the production in Ethiopia,” the CEO said.
Right now AnyWay is conducting assessments to see what raw materials are available and what area would be the best place to locate the plant.
Local partners that work with the company say that Ethiopia has put into place incentives for the manufacturing sector that mainly focus on substituting imported material and AnyWay also wanted to take advantage of this.
“We plan to make almost everything we need using raw materials from Ethiopia, there are only a few items we may have to import,” Halber said.
Since 2008 the company has worked on several roads in Addis Ababa but now they are getting a lot more requests for other projects and many companies also want to use the products AnyWay uses for their own projects.
“We are in the process of working with international and other private companies,” the CEO said.
Materials made by AnyWay are used in many different types of construction including; roads, airports, railways, oil, mines and housing. In fact technology developed by AnyWay can allow local, poor quality soil to be used as the primary building material for homes. This type of construction, known as stabilized earth block construction is considered to be an innovative way to build low cost housing.
The CEO said that the company has also started discussions with Amhara Regional State and Southern Nations, nationalities and People’s Regional State to implement the solutions in various projects.
“In Amhara we are using technology and techniques to create low cost housing using soil stabilization and earth blocks,” he said. “The solution we make can even stabilize the low quality black cotton soil.”
Soil stabilization allows projects to be finished quickly and economically by converting poor quality soil into an impermeable layer. This permits roads to be paved in places where it was previously not economically viable.
Research conducted by Addis Ababa City Roads Authority (AACRA) and Addis Ababa University confirmed the effectiveness of this method in treating black cotton soils. This has allowed this kind of soil to be successfully incorporated into road pavement structures through stabilization technique. It will eliminate the need to remove and dump the black cotton soil and replacing it with quarried materials.
Zerihun Yifru (Eng.), head of road construction sub process at AACRA, told Capital that using this solution in road construction reduces the cost and effort to construct a road by around 30 percent.
“The time for constructing a road through this technology will reduce the time by about 30 percent,” he said.
After their success with a pilot project, Zerihun said the Authority awarded them several more projects including some major linkages like the new endeavor that leads from Bole Health Center to Shalla Public Park to the road that links Axum Hotel with Bole High School.
Samson Bekure (Eng.) is the Managing Director of Saba Engineering which is a local partner of AnyWay, he said that they want to work with the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA). They have submitted a proposal to the authority to have their products tested by ERA in hopes that they can work together on many more of the nation’s road projects.
AnyWay, whose products were previously tested by AACRA, has also been talking with private developers and horticulture companies in hopes that they can help meet their road construction needs as well.
“We don’t come with magic, we come with engineering solutions this is what is gaining the recognition,” the CEO explained.
Last week the company organized a workshop that included the private sector, representatives from federal and regional offices and public enterprises. The workshop also went over legal procurement guidelines to show ways that companies in the public sector can work out a contract with companies like AnyWay.
Procurement guidelines have been considered as a major barrier previously for public institutions wanting to work with AnyWay. The presentation demonstrated ways that state institutions can take advantage of procurement guidelines and proclamations to take advantage of the new technology.