PM agrees to bi-annual meeting with cement producers

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PM Hailemariam Dessalegn during the brief meeting

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has promised to meet with representatives from the cement industry every six month in order to improve the sector.
On Wednesday April 19 at the outskirts of Holeta Genet, 35km west of Addis Ababa the PM attended the inauguration of the, Habesha Cement Share Company, a large cement factory. While he was there he also met with members of the Cement Factory Association in a small hall at the factory .
Sources told Capital that cement producers asked Hailemariam to meet with them regularly.
“He promised to meet with us at least every six months,” a source said.
“We want this regular meeting with the PM to express our concern to the higher level ,” a source said.
The cement industry has grown significantly in the past few years leading Ethiopia to cut back on cement imports and causing prices to stabilize.
Recently, the Oromia region recommended that the cement industry involve youth in the area in pumice mining, which is a major input for cement production. This issue has been discussed frequently with many cement manufacturers arguing against the plan. However, they finally agreed with the region to allocate resources for the youth, who will produce and supply pumice at a reasonable price. Sources, who attended the brief meeting with the PM told Capital that this, and other pertinent issues were not raised due to lack of time.
The inaugurated cement factory can produce 1.4 million tons of PPC cement per year. It is managed by Ethiopian shareholders and South African companies. At the ceremony Mesfin Abi (Eng.), CEO of Habesha, said that the factory has the capacity of producing 4,500 tons of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) a day.
Habesha is an example of a successful share company, because they were able to raise capital from over 16,500 Ethiopians. Recently the CEO told Capital that the factory will develop new construction products, including gypsum board and cement concrete.
The factory, installed by the Chinese state owned Northern Heavy Industries Group, cost USD 155 million.