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Repi Wilmar oil processing factory which is going to be constructed in Sebeta town is eyeing to cover 80 percent of the demand for palm oil in the country, when it is completed and starts producing 420,000 tones of edible oil annually. This is part of a7 billion Birr manufacturing complex. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn and Muktar Kedir Oromia Regional State President laid the cornerstone for the complex on Sunday May 10, which is a joint venture of Ethiopian Repi Soap and Detergent S.C and Singaporean Wilmar International Ltd located in Sebeta Town.
Repi Wilmar Industrial S.C is a 50/50 joint venture combining local knowledge, national distribution and experience of Repi Soaps and Detergents with the manufacturing skills, knowledge and capability of the internationally renowned Wilmar International Ltd.
Repi Soap and Detergent S.C and Wilmar International Ltd have signed a joint investment agreement in July 2014 for the upgrading of an existing manufacturing facility and for building a new integrated industrial complex to produce edible oil, soap and detergents, flour, oil seed crushing and refining and sesame seed cleaning.
The project will have 14 different manufacturing companies on 100 hectares of land it acquired in an industry zone in Sebeta town. An oil blending factory that produces edible oil from palm seeds and soya beans; a detergents unit that produces different types of soaps and cleaning agents; a food stuffs unit that produces butter, wheat flour, macaroni and pasta are some of the structures that will be erected during the construction period that will span from 18 months to four years.
Hailemariam said at the ceremony, “The Repi Wilmar project is a grand vision that all of us eagerly await its operation. Its produce will cover majority of the edible oil demand which we have been meeting with imports for many years.’’
Kamil Sabir, General Manager of Repi Soap and Detergents Factory Share Company, said the local palm oil demand is around 530,000 tons a year and with 420,000 tones of annual production, Repi Wilmar will cover 80 percent of the local demand for oil. Kamil said the company will sell oil with lower price than a liter of imported oil which is 57 birr a liter.
“We are in the final stages of acquisition of 60,000 m2 of space in Djibouti port to deposit the crude oil that is imported from Malaysia and Singapore. I hope after two years, we will move on to farming palm trees to substitute the crude oil imports,” Kamil said.
Khoon Hong Kuok, General Manager of Wilmar said that Ethiopia’s rapid economic development and the abundant labor force attracted Wilmar to invest in Ethiopia.
Willmar International Limited was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Singapore. Wilmar is Asia’s leading agribusiness group. It is ranked amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalization on the Singapore Exchange.