Ethiopian water company expands export opportunity

Ethiopian Minister of Mines and
Energy Alemayehu Tegenu

( — The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy on Thursday (Aug 7, 2008) signed an agreement with the local Moha Soft Drinks Industry S.C., alloting an additional 56.8 thousand square metre of land for the company’s water mining purposes.

According to reports in The Africa Monitor and Capital Ethiopia, Moha will invest between 2.5 to 5 million Euro to enable its mineral water factory to produce an additonal 180.3 million litres over the next ten years.

The agreement states that the company is allowed to mine mineral water on a small scale in the new licensed area, which is situated in West Gojam Zone Bure locality, Amhara National Regional State in Ethiopia. Inititally the license has been issued for five years, but can be extended for a further ten years.

The company produces both Kool Spring and Kool Mineral water at its factory, which it acquired for 27 million Ethiopian Birr (1.8 million Euro) from the former Bure Babuna Mineral Water Company. In addition to being sold on the local market, Kool Mineral is exported to the Middle East.

The agreement was signed by Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of Mines and Energy and Getachew Birbo, Moha Soft Drinks General Manager at the Sheraton Addis. Following the signing ceremony, the Minister said the government has designed an “encouraging” policy in order to support investors in the sector.

So far 65 companies have obtained 115 licenses from the Ministry of Mines and Energy to engage in mineral water development.

Moha’s parent company, MIDROC Ethiopia, has invested over 500 million Ethiopian Birr (34 million Euro) expanding the company, which has been in operation since 1997.