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Juniper Glass announced that it has received all regulatory approvals necessary to conclude the final investments in its USD70 million Greenfield container glass factory in Debre Birhan, Ethiopia.

Juniper is working closely with leading global glass engineers and equipment suppliers to build a state-of-the-art factory, which will use the latest available technology in glass manufacturing. The new factory, which is under construction, will have the capacity to produce 60,000 tonnes of glass annually, approximately 200 million glass bottles.

Juniper has agreed with most major bottlers in Ethiopia to allocate the majority of this capacity to replace imports. In addition, Juniper has also evaluated opportunities with international customers to export bottles into neighbouring countries. Juniper Glass is expected to be operational within 18 months and, with a strong consortium of partners and full funding in place, the project design has firmly positioned Juniper for growth, with designs allowing for further expansion on relative short notice in future.

The consortium behind Juniper includes Consol Glass, the largest glass packaging company in Sub-Saharan Africa, with manufacturing facilities in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. Consol Glass is a recognised leader in glass packaging manufacturing and with their expertise and support Juniper will be able to supply container glass to highest quality standards.

Earlier, the Development Bank of Ethiopia announced it had approved a loan of ETB 565 million (approximately USD 25 million) for the project, which was developed by Roha. With final investment approval from Ethiopia’s Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Agency, Juniper is fully-funded and will start operating as soon as the factory is completed.

International agencies are describing Ethiopia as a high-potential consumer market, with an expanding middle class and rapid urbanization. As Africa’s second most populated country with more than 90 million people, the beverage industry is poised to become a thriving sector of the economy. Juniper Glass will be positioned to supply Ethiopian customers, export to regional markets and continue to expand as demand increases.