Irrigation Farms Worth 9b Br Set in Omo


Three local and a foreign company are expected to finish the project in ten months




The Ethiopian Construction Works Corporation (ECWC) has signed agreements worth nine billion Br with four companies for the construction of irrigation farms inside the Omo Kuraz sugar factories.

Omo, Kuraz, located in Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Region, is 900Km away from the capital city.

The Southern Water Works Construction Enterprise (SWWCE), the Water Infrastructure Construction Sector and the Transport Infrastructure Construction Sector, and Jeinexi Water and Hydro Power Construction were the companies awarded the project. The Water and Infrastructure sector are under the auspices of the Construction Works Corporation.

Out of the total investment, four billion Birr was used to construct the first phase of the project, which is already under construction by the Water Infrastructure Construction Sector, Southern Water Works and Jeinexi . This phase involves the construction of 41Km long main irrigation canal, which will supply 125,000 metric cubes of water.

Prior to last year, the project was run jointly by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, and the state-owned Sugar Corporation. However, following the establishment of ECWC, the project has come fully under its control. All the awarded companies will be involved in the second phase of the project, which is expected to begin next month. About 93Km of the irrigation canal is expected to be completed during this phase. The largest portion of the project, which covers 32.3Km, was awarded to SWWCE.

“The award was given based on the company’s performance in the first phase of the project,” said Hailmeskel Tefera, chief executive officer of ECWC.

All of the construction companies are expected to submit their projects within the coming 10 months. This will bring a positive impact to facilitate long delayed sugar projects in the country.

“Our aim is to bring about efficiency in sugar projects,” said Hailemeskel.

Controversies around sugar production and supply have been always been raised, despite bold promises to advance both production and supply chains.

Two months ago, the Sugar Corporation discarded plans to build two sugar factories from the promised list of 10 to be constructed in the coming three years. Specifically, the initial plan of Sugar Corporation was to construct five factories under the Kuraz sugar project and develop 150,000ha of sugar cane farms. However, the corporation decided to cancel the construction of one of the factories and continue building the rest.

The new irrigation project has the capacity to develop 75,000ha of sugar cane, which is enough to supply all sugar projects in Omo Kuraz.

Status reports as of December 2016 indicate that the Kuraz I sugar factory project has progressed to about 91pc completion.

Kuraz II and III are at 83pc and 50pc completion, respectively, and Kuraz V is still at the mobilization stage.

All of these projects are expected to be completed by 2020. By then, the country will be able to produce over four million tonnes of sugar, out of which 2.9 million tonnes are targeted for export, to secure foreign exchange.

In addition to the Omo Kuraz project, ECWC was also the main contractor for the irrigation project built for Tendaho and Kesem Sugar projects.

Ethiopian Construction Design and Supervision Works Corporation is awarded as a consultant for the newly built irrigation projects.

 



By BEYENE WOLDE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Mar 27,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 882]


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