The first engine manufacturing plant in Ethiopia is set to be operational in Mekelle, Tigray Regional State, with a 350 million Birr investment from the local military base corporation, Addis Fortune Newspaper reported.
Named as Mekelle Engine Production Factory, the company is established by one of the 15 subsidiary companies under the Metal & Engineering Corporation (MetEC), the Ethiopian Power Engineering Industry (EPEI).
Mekelle Engine Production Factory has a production capacity of manufacturing 20,000 engines annually. It produces three types of engines; small, medium and heavy engines used for different purposes including for vehicles, water pumps and power generators. The small engines are for Bajaj, pumps, power generators and walking tractors; medium engines are for buses and trucks, and heavy engines are for construction machinery such as loaders, excavators and graders.
The construction of the company started in 2015 and was completed last year, and currently, it is piloting production.
The company was initiated after various questions were raised during the Ethio-Metal and Engineering International Exhibition that was held in 2012, according to Mossa Yimame (Maj.) deputy general manager and marketing and sales head of EPEI.
During the exhibition, it was commented that importing engines and spare parts is the biggest challenge of companies that are engaged in the metal and engineering industries,” Mossa told Fortune. “This inspired us to establish the factory.”
Lying on a 30ha plot of land, the company currently hires 400 permanent workers. It also secured an area in Bikiltu, Wolega, Oromia Regional State, to explore iron ore as an input for the production of engines.
From the total inputs used to manufacture the engines, about 60pc of the inputs are produced locally by sister companies of the EPEI and the enterprises that are operating under it, according to Ashenafi Biru, head of promotion and advertising at EPEI.