New NBE’s Machine Converts Old Currency Notes into Bricks

One month ago, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) installed a currency destroying machine to avoid the traditional burning of currency. The new machine, produced by German company G&K Medizinische System GMBH, will convert tired bills into inputs for brick making, generating revenue for the bank.

The machine, which could begin operation in two weeks, has had a successful piloting phase, according to bank sources. It installed the machine at its headquarters, on Sudan Street, close to Black Lion Hospital, one of the sites where old currencies were previously burnt. The bank burned the majority of old currency at Wonji, a town known for the Methara Sugar Factory, located 110Km from the capital.

NBE bought the new machine from G&K Medizinische System (GMBH), a company that was established in 2011 and manufactures stone crushers, powder production line and grinder. The new machine has the capacity to destroy 2,100kg of old banknotes in two and a half hours.

Established in 1964, NBE has the responsibility of regulating the supply, availability and cost of money and credit. It also manages and administers the country’s international reserves, licenses and supervises banks, holding commercial banks’ reserves and lending money to them. Furthermore, it supervises the loans of commercial banks, regulates interest rates, acting as an agent of the government, fixing and controlling foreign exchange rates and issuing paper money and coins, removing worn out currencies from use.

To replace old currencies, the central bank prints banknotes in European countries, predominantly in England and France. However, it has plans to establish a banknote and security printing factory in Ethiopia, and has announced a tender to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for the factory.

It has now made an order for new banknotes. For now old notes will be collected and disposed of by burning, until this machine to convert old bills into inputs for brick making comes. The innovative machine also has the benefit of reducing environmental pollution and saves labour that burning the notes required.

The deal with the German machine production company has yet to be finalised, as they are discussing maintenance issues with the NBE, according to one source.


Published on December 21, 2014 [ Vol 15 ,No 764]



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