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The Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), one of the two state owned banks, has approved over half a billion birr loan for the up and coming bottle manufacturer, Juniper Glass Industries Plc.

The state owned bank, which has been the main ally of developmental projects for more than a century has approved a 565 million birr loan for the bottle factory that will be erected at Debre Birhan 130km north east of Addis Ababa.

Birhanu Kassaye (PhD), Corporate Communication and Promotion Director of DBE, told Capital that the loan agreement between the two bodies was signed on June 29.

The construction of the USD 50 million birr manufacturing industrial projects at the emerging industry hub of Debre Birhan will swing into action in the near future

Juniper Glass Industries Plc., has the potential of becoming the biggest bottle manufacturer because the local market depends on imported products.

The company, established by Kenya registered Roha Venture, will invest about USD 50 million in the bottle manufacturing plant.

“Juniper is excited to be working with DBE to build our glass factory in Debre Birhan,” Brooks Washington, General Manager, told Capital via email.

“We appreciate the DBE’s support and look forward to our collaboration,” he added.

He said that the construction process is underway and, once complete; this factory will be one of the largest in East Africa, making glass for domestic consumption and export.

Yared Mulugeta, Special Projects Manager of Roha said that the constriction will ember in the coming few weeks.

Yared told Capital that the company will commence production within 15 months. He declined to disclose the name of the contractor that would manage the project.

Juniper Glass will produce 150 million bottles annually for local and international markets.

The company document indicated that Juniper is also investing over 10 million birr to develop the local capacity of suppliers of silica sand. The company’s project plan indicated that 90 percent of raw materials will be sourced from Ethiopia, with 80 percent of the supply absorption reserved in the  Amhara region where the company invests.

The company secured the 12 hectares of land from the Debre Birhan City Administration. Debre Birhan is the preferred destination for local and international investors who are attracted by its proximity to the capital city.

It is also one of the nearest locations for the under construction Djibouti’s port, Tadjoura, which is an important port for Ethiopia.

In the budget year DBE has targeted to approve an 18.8 billion birr loan for different projects and to disperse 14.1 billion birr.

In the 2016/17 fiscal year the bank has also targeted to collect six billion birr from borrowers.

In the 2915/16 fiscal year DBE has earned 414 million birr net profit after tax.