Sugar factory expansion project nearing completion

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Addis Ababa, 8 April 2014 (WIC) - The Wonji Shoa Sugar Factory expansion project expected to produce 8,000 quintal per day is 98 per cent complete.
Factory Production Section Manager Ayele Taddesse told Ethiopian Press Agency reporters recently that the expansion project is the biggest next to Finchaa Sugar Factory. It has installed modern sugarcane crushing plant to produce 173, 946 tonnes of sugar and 10,299 m3 annually.
He also said that the expansion project is being undertaken at a cost of 300 million USD loan obtained from India.
Presently, the factory produces up to 5,000 quintals of sugar daily. The factory is now undertaking both sugar production and expansion simultaneously and is scheduled to go fully operational in two or three months time, he added.
Currently, the factory has planted sugarcane on 17,000 hectares of land. Close to 11,000 hectares of land is covered in collaboration with organized farmers, Ayele said, adding the remaining 6,000 hectares is covered under its direct supervision.
It offers training and other assistance to encourage farmers to increase the sugarcane supply.
The sugarcane production project has been carried out at Wakie Tiyo, Wolenchiti and Dodota areas, he added.
Ayele further indicated that the factory has a daily 30MW generating capacity out of which two third would be sold to Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) consuming the rest in sugar production.
Though the factory has installed machinery to produce ethanol, it has not entered production phase due to shortage of molasses, Ayele added.
According to Factory Public Mobilization Coordinator Lopiso Haile, the factory has been undertaking the expansion work since 2009. At present, the factory employs 6,000 workers on permanent and causal basis.
The factory benefits the rural community in the area directly or indirectly. They are engaged in sugarcane production which they supply to the factory. They also benefit from infrastructural development in the area.
Currently, water supply and irrigation schemes, schools and health facilities are being undertaken in three surrounding woredas at a cost of 15 million birr. The factory is also organizing and offering training for jobless youth to provide them temporary job opportunity, he added. (EH)