Large scale garment factory construction in Mekelle nears completion

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Monirul Islam

The first phase of DBL garment factory that is being constructed in Mekelle town, Ethiopia, is nearing completion and is expected to start production late February, 2018. The garment factory that is laid on 78 Hectares of land is a self contained complex that will be producing items such as readymade garments as well as accessories buttons and zippers, among other things.
“I recently visited it and it’s almost done. It is a self contained industry and it will not import anything; everything will be produced within the facility, except for raw cotton,” According to Monirul Islam, Ambassador of Bangladesh in Ethiopia.
Once the first phase is completed, the factory will employ 4,000 workers and after the completion of the second phase, the number of workers will increase to 10,000.
“Currently Ethiopia imports all accessories; it is not produced in the country. Once this company goes operational, besides producing accessories for its own use, it will also be able to supply other factories,” the Ambassador pointed out.
The complex that is currently under construction has an investment of USD 104 million and has created jobs for 750 construction workers. The USD 104 million investment comes from three bodies; DBL Group with USD 31 million, Swedfund with USD 15 million and Development Bank of Ethiopia with USD 58 million. The garment factory will be supplying clothing retailer powerhouses such as H&M.
“H&M is pleased that Swedfund is co-financing a project with DBL Group. H&M wants to contribute to a long-term sustainable textile industry in Ethiopia taking social as well as environmental dimensions into consideration. It is important to us that both DBL and Swedfund are putting these questions on top of their agenda when doing investments”, Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Production at H&M had said last year in June speaking about the project.
Launched in 1991, the DBL Group currently has facilities for spinning, fabric knitting, dyeing and finishing, garmenting, washing, packaging and printing. The company is into producing composite knit garments and textiles, and employs about 15,700 people in Bangladesh.