Granite Factory Begins Operations with Half Billion Br Investment


With its capacity and plans for diversification, Semayata will do much to relieve the stone scarcity in the construction market




Semayata Dimension Stone Factory, established in Wukro, Tigray, started production of granite tiles and slabs on February 18, 2016.  Its owner, Ayiga Trade & Industry Plc, invested 400 million Br for quarrying, granite processing technology, and for the construction and establishment of all facilities.

Erected on 3.7ha of land, the factory plant completed at the end of 2015, includes warehouses and a three-storey building. Ih has a capacity of processing 240,000sqm of tiles and cut-to-size granite slabs annually.

“The factory found green,white and black  granite stones; but for the time  being we are using the grey galaxy granite,” Solomon Desta, Semayata’s  CEO said. “We further plan to process limestone, marble, and sandstone.”

Upon getting a license from the Tigray Mines Bureau, Semayata began extraction from the biggest source of raw materials in the nearby quarry. Wukro, a town and separate wereda in northern Ethiopia, is located in the eastern zone of the Tigray Region, 962Km and a 14-hour drive from Addis Abeba.

Shire, west of Wukro, is the site of its second quarry.

“We expect an annual block production of 12,000 cubic metres when the two fully go operational,” Solomon said.

Ethiopia’s granite deposit is estimated to be 70 million tonnes. It also has 100 million tonnes of marble and 900 million tonnes of limestone, mainly accumulated in Tigray, Amhara and Oromia, data from Ethiopian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative indicate.

The parent company, Ayiga Trade & Industry Plc, established by brothers, Petros and Paulos Gebregziabher, operates an aluminium and corrugated iron sheet production factory, Selam Galvanized.

Semeyata has  cutting machines that can handle blocks as big as  5.5 cubic metres and weigh up to 16tn.

One of the two machines is a modern multi dimensional diamond wire machine produced by the Italian company, Gaspari Menotti, which designs and manufactures machines for working stone, granite and marble.

The other machine, which is commonly used by other factories in the same business, is a conventional gang saw machine; its capacity is lower than that of the Gaspari machine, Solomon said.

The Company has also acquired machines to polish the slabs. It can produce slabs as big as 3.2m by 1.4m, Solomon said, but the company is going to the market with three sizes: 60cm by 60cm, 40cm by40 cm and 40cm by 50cm.

Distribution outlets have already been opened in Addis Abeba and Meqelle, with plans for other outlets in Dessie and Bahir Dar. Solomon said.

“There is a huge potential at the market where there is a scarce resource,” said the CEO.

The factory’s products will be used for swimming pools, bathrooms, doors and windows.

Ethiopia’s granite imports in 2014 and 2015 totalled 38 million kilograms, according to the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority (ERCA).

At country level, there around 34 companies registered under marble, limestone and granite processing. Among these, National Mining Corporation has the largest share with annual production of 250,000sqm, and Saba Dimension Stone Factory Plc, producing 180,000sqm of the aforementioned stones.



By DAWIT ENDESHAW
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Feb 29,2016 [ Vol 16 ,No 826]


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