Korean ceramic comes to the rescue of inefficient injera baking clay


To reduce electrical consumption from injera baking plates known as ‘Mitad’ which are made from clay, the Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA) is working with South Korea’s government to produce ceramic baking plates locally, in hopes of reducing electrical consumption during injera baking by 50 percent.
The authority is currently testing, the heat, efficiency and durability of the sample of 12 Ceramic Mitad which came from Korea. And if it passes testing EEP will call and train local Mitad producers to make and sell them here.
There are currently an estimated 800,000 injera electric baking stoves. According to estimates, Mitads consume about 4kw per cooker and over 40 percent of Ethiopian hydro-based grid power.
The daily baking power load becomes coincident with peak load requirements, thereby overloading the electricity distribution system. The impact is severe on weekdays, mid morning and mid noon.
Zewge Worku, an engineer at EEP told Capital that the patent issue is being discussed with Korean energy stakeholders.
“As a county we will benefit if something is produced in here which reduces energy consumption but we tell to the Korean friends that the patent rights should belong to Ethiopia if the ceramic Mitad is produced here and hopefully we will agree on that point soon,” he said.
He added that the current electrical Mitad dates back to the 1960’s and are highly inefficient, which overloads the electrical grid.
The authority had previously focused on locally manufactured ovens that are used to make Injera. They added that they are preparing regulations to label locally made electrical devices commonly used in households.
Labeling is starting to be applied to refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves and electric motors that are energy efficient. The label is intended to encourage consumers to use appliances that use less energy.
Electrical appliances that meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements will be given quality assurance labels. Equipment that uses more power will be banned. The authority said it will soon begin inspection to sort out machines that cause power drainages.
All newly imported refrigerators should also have manufacturer labels that attest that they are energy efficient, according to the authority’s requirement. The labels should indicate how much energy a refrigerator or freezer uses per year and it should give star rating to allow buyers compare the equipment with other refrigerators of the same size and type for energy efficiency.