One Water Ploughs into Expansion


The expansion includes building two plants to manufacture plastic bottles and caps




Mogle Bottled Water Manufacturing, bottler of One Water, is set to triple its production capacity and manufacture plastic bottles and caps.

The expansion will enable the company to bottle 96,000 bottles of water an hour, up from the current 32,000 bottles. It will also enable the company to manufacture 18,000 plastic bottles and 20,000 caps an hour. The company has imported three pieces of machinery from Tech-Long packaging that produce 10,000, 18,000 and 36,000 bottles of water an hour.

Tech-Long, a Chinese company established in 1999 has installed over 1,300 bottling lines in more than 54 countries and, supplied the machines. Mogle has also invested in erecting the building and warehouses and procured 20 vehicles to distribute the water.

“The investment aims at saving forex incurred from importing materials,” said Enyew Zeleke, CEO of the company, which operates under Abahawa Trading, a company known for coffee export.

The expansion will open additional job opportunities for 140 temporary and 261 contract employees. This will be an addition to the current 414 permanent and 161 contract employees at the company, which started production in 2015 by packing 18,000 bottles an hour. The company made its first expansion last year.

“We will be fully operational with the new set of machinery next January,” Eniyew told Fortune.

Resting on a 13,000Sqm plot of land in Sebeta town, the factory leased an additional 16,000Sqm land with 28 million Br for the expansion. The water is derived from the Mogle Mountain, where the company has two nearly 200m-deep bore holes that respectively provide 13L and 15L of water per second.

The company is also planning to introduce bottled water with 0.3ml, 0.4ml and 20L sizes, according to Eniyew.

Mogale is one of 70 water bottling companies in the country that produce nearly 3.5 billion litres of water a year, while the nation’s total water consumption stands at 72 billion litres.

The existing water bottling companies provide only five percent of total consumption, while neighbouring country Kenya, which has less than half the size of Ethiopia’s population, has 600 bottling companies that provide 37.7pc of the country’s consumption.

Experts welcome the expansion of the company for economic causes but suggest that the government manage sustainable water resource usage.

“The expansion of local investments should gain incentives,” said Negussie Semmie (PhD), a university lecturer at Addis Abeba Univerisity with over one and a half decades of experience in water development and economics.

“Beside individual efforts to sustain the water resource, the government has to take the initiative to develop a sustainable watershed,” Negussie said.

The expert also urges the bottling companies to use decomposable and biodegradable plastic products.

Mogle has already recognised this, according to Eniyew.

“We use oriented polypropylene (OPP), a decomposable plastic material, to produce the bottle,” said Eniyew. “Our plastics will decay in time.” Typical decay period for polypropylene products is 30 years.



By BEHAILU AYELE
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Oct 20,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 964]


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