Juniper glass factory opens

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Juniper container glass plant is open for business. The new entrant to the Ethiopian market can make 200 million glass bottles a year for the national and regional market. The factory is located in Debre Birhan, approximately 130km from Addis Ababa near Habesha and Dashen beer factories.
The glass plant cost 100million USD for construction and equipment. Rama Construction built the factory on 21hct of land. They started in 2016 and took 18 month to finish. Yared Mulgeta special project manager said there were some delays but things are ready now.
The major raw materials required for the production of soda lime glass are silica sand, soda ash, marble/lime stone, and cullet are locally available except soda ash which is imported.
The critical project requirements of the envisaged project are raw materials, utilities, transport infrastructure, skilled and semi skilled labor, land, and other necessary infrastructures. Juniper sent its 140 employees to South Africa for training in making glass.
Yared said: “Juniper is importing soda ash from Kenya and 78percent of the input is silica sand obtained from the nearby areas.” the new factory is using oil and gas to melt the fossil fuel. Currently they make 200,000 glasses per day; when it starts producing with its full capacity however it reaches up to 600,000.
The major end-users of glass packing materials are beverage bottlers. The Ethiopian market for glass packing materials is met both from import and domestic production. The growth on the performance of food & beverage manufacturing sub sector increased the demand to glass. Accordingly, the demand for glass packing materials is assumed to grow by 18% for the period 2015–2020, According to the ministry of trade and industry, 33,540 tons of glass has imported in the year of 2015, will increase to about 49.6 thousand tons by the year 2021.
Even though it is difficult to import glass containers from abroad due to the weight and high cost of transportation new entrants that produce glass packing materials, local production is losing its market share and facing difficulties.
The market share that could be captured by local producers is expected to increase from about 31.9 thousand tons in the year 2015 to about 110 thousand tons in the year 2025. The Ministry of Industry spend 12.9 million USD to import glass and glassware. The new glass manufacture is expected to increase the production capacity of the state to have enough supply the local market.
Fetlework G.egzihabher said local manufactures can do just as well as international producers.
Currently including Juniper there are six glass manufactures, Addis Ababa Bottle and Glass makes 250 million bottles per year, Daylight Applied Technologies 20,000 tones, Ethio Hanssam International Plc, Goda Glass & Bottling, in Tigray, Allied Chemical Plc also make glass.