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Tekleberhan Ambaye Construction PLC (TACON) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture with the Swiss based construction material manufacturing company, Pinnacle-Berlani Partnership, in order to participate in the Government’s 40/60 housing program.
“The Government has issued a bid for local and international companies to participate in the building of the 40/60 houses and the bid specifically stated that local contractors need to bring in new technologies to be able to participate. That is why we decided to go into a joint venture with Pinnacle-Berlani Partnership,” said Seifu Ambaye, Chief Executive Officer of TACON said.
Pinnacle-Berlani Partnership is a company that provides Light Gauge Steel Building System, a construction technology that is said to be more time and cost effective than the conventional construction using concrete.
“The company is actually one that comes highly recommended by the government; we talked about it and decided to work with them as they can bring a lot of knowledge to the table. This technology is very advanced, it is actually common in other countries and our sister company Yebel Industrial PLC also works with this new technology but there are many things we need to learn,” Seifu said.
He also stated that unlike the current finishing problems that are seen with the condominium houses, the new technology will significantly minimize them. He also stated that the two companies only signed MoU as a first step and if the government accepts their proposal, an official contract will be signed between the two.
“We are going to enter a joint venture where we will manufacture a construction system which will create a new situation in Ethiopia. We will be able to deliver quality homes, quality buildings to the affordable housing sector which has up to now has been a little bit short. We have been negotiation with TACON for a long time and we hope to start working together very soon,” said Luciano Berlani, Chairman of Pinnacle-Berlani said.
If accepted by the government, the Swiss company plans on opening a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia to supply a Light Gauge Steel Building System. Pinnacle-Berlani currently has several projects in other African countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique.
“The finance depends on the working program, and on how many houses we are going to build. We have a system that we can structure the manufacturing operation in a way that we are capable of making very large quantities. This is obviously and investment of several millions of dollars in the factory we will build,” the Chairman said.
The company also stated that it has an interest to participate in the other schemes of the housing project such as the 10/90 and 20/80 if the opportunities are presented. “It very much depends on our partners and on the costs. The 10/90 housing is a very inexpensive construction, but it can be managed,” he concluded.