Malting Factory Brews at Industrial Park

Ethiopia is going to get the fourth malt processing plant, to be built by Malteries Soufflet Group Company with 50 million dollars in Bole Lemi Industrial Park. The processing plant will lie on 10,000sqm and will have a capacity of producing 60,000tn of malt a year.

Soufflet signed a land lease agreement with the Industrial Park Development Corporation (IPDC) last Wednesday. The signing ceremony was held between Lelise Leme, CEO of IPDC and Christophe Passelande, general manager of Soufflet Malt Ethiopia. A memorandum of understanding for the investment was signed between Soufflet, the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) and the Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) back in January 2017.

“The Agency designed a business plan to encourage malting companies around the world to invest in Ethiopia; Soufflet was one of them,” says Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Agency. “We also showed them that Ethiopian farmers produce malt barley.”

Construction will take a year, and the plantation is expected to begin production in 2020. It will create permanent employment opportunities for 50 people and benefit 20,000 to 25,000 smallholder barley farmers, according to Christophe.

“The country’s barley production capacity, the malt demand growth coupled with Soufflet’s extensive international experience, promises a successful collaboration,” says Christophe.

Ethiopia currently imports 70pc of its malt to satisfy demand. Gonder and Assela Malt factories cover the rest. Last December another company, Bootmalt, a subsidiary of France’s largest grain cooperative, Axéréal, set its foot in Debre Berhan Industrial Park (DBIP), Amhara Regional State. ATA also played a significant role in bringing Bootmalt, which is going to invest 1.6 billion Br to set up a plant with a production capacity of processing 60,000tn of malt a year.

“The venture will have multiple impacts on the economy by creating a market for small barley farmers, opening up employment opportunities for the youth, and providing relief to the country’s foreign currency challenge by reducing its malt import,” Lelise said.

This factory is also good news in the effort to realise structural economic transformation, with agriculture serving an engine towards industrialisation, according to Belachew Mekuria (PhD), EIC’s commissioner.

“We are pleased with Soufflets’s investment because it marks an intersection between the two and showcases the possibilities for international investment in the country,” he said.

Soufflet is a family-owned French company invested in food and agriculture. It operates, particularly, in the barley, wheat, rice and pulses sectors. Europe’s biggest privately-owned on-farm cereal buyer, the Group employs 7,520 people in eighteen countries.

“It is nice to have another malt factory in the country, but it is not enough when we see the demand,” says an expert who did not want his name mentioned. “Industries are suffering from the faulty supply of malt.”

Ethiopia’s brewery market is nine decades old. In the past few years, it has shown substantial growth as new brands joined the market. Heineken, which brews Waliya beer has the largest share at four million hectolitres a year while BGI, best known for the St. George beer, produces three million hectoliters a year.



Published on Jun 16,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 946]



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