Addis Fortune | 21 February 2010
A Japanese firm is to build its 350m Br rice processing plant
Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, the newest food growing company formed by Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi, is to acquire 100,000sqm of land in Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) this week, its senior official disclosed.
Saudi Star is going to acquire the land for with a 60-year lease to establish a rice polishing and packaging plant in Bishoftu.
“We have not settled the price yet,” Haile Assegide, executive director of major investment projects at MIDROC Ethiopia Plc told Fortune. The rice processing plant is where it will polish or whiten the brown rice which is produced in Gambella. There will be another plant in Gambella where it will carry out the removal of husks.
Saudi Star, registered at the Ethiopian Investment Agency in August 2009 with a capital of 500 million Br, has received 10,000ht of land in Alwero, in the Gambella Regional State to grow rice using the Alwero Dam.
It also plans to acquire 250,000ht in the Gambella Regional State and various regional states to grow maize, teff, sugarcane and oilseeds.
The company contracted Satake International of Japan to set up the processing plant for 350 million Br. The civil and electromechanical work is expected to be completed in October 2010, according to the Executive Director.
“We hope to work and deliver in time,” Shoichi Tanaka, president of Satake Corporation, said after signing the agreement last Monday, February 15, 2010.
A German company and another Japanese company that had placed competitive bids were dropped in favour of Satake. The German company lost because the production capacity of the plant it proposed was only 20,000tn, while the other Japanese company lost because of its relatively narrower experience compared to Satake, which has been 100 years in the business.
Satake’s technology will allow Saudi Star to process 100,000tn of rice per annum. Within five to seven years, Saudi Star plans to increase this to one million tonnes annually if it gets all the land it intends to.
The rice will be packed in 25kg, 50kg and one tonne packages and the material will be provided by Unlimited Packaging Plc, MIDROC’s sister organisation found in Bishoftu.
Saudi Star recently paid 80 million dollars to Ries Engineering, sole agent of Near East Financial Corporation for the delivery of Caterpillar agricultural machinery and equipment.
By HILINA ALEMUFORTUNE STAFF WRITER