Saturday, June 15, 2024
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New factory shows promise of being “the building block” of construction

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A mass-producing block factory that is inching closer to operation is opined by experts to have a huge prospect in modernizing the construction sector business stemming from its low-cost production of construction materials
The factory which was established by Builders Up Construction Material Manufacturing Plc looks to have a capacity to produce 18 blocks per 20 seconds. The factory is also said to cut the drying time of the blocks to within the space of less than a day whilst that of the current market takes a week.
Ablante Wondwossen, General Manager of Builders up Construction Material Manufacturing explained that the company decided to conduct a huge investment in the sector so as to transform the construction industry and bridge the gap that is observed in the space.
“Currently, the country is going through massive construction with projects being seen on the rise. This presents huge opportunities for such facilities like ours, which help to support the construction boom,” he added.
The manager whilst underlining the need for swift response in modernizing the sector also recalled how a major portion of the country when it comes to residential houses is built of substandard material.
According to figures from the Ministry of Urban Development and Infrastructure, currently, there are over four million houses in the country, but 30 percent are sub-standard while 74 percent of the same require crucial renovation.
Officials of the company stated that the sophisticated and latest technology machines that are manufactured in Türkiye, have already arrived at the Djibouti Port.
The industry will be set up on a 10,000- square meters of space secured at Dukem in the eastern outskirts of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region.
The facility will have a production line, laboratory, curing room and logistics center at Dukem. In addition, the company has also secured a mining facility covering 63,000 square meters from the Oromia Mining and Energy Bureau at Aleltu, about 50 km northeast of Addis Ababa in the Oromia region.
At the mining facility, a crashing plant will be installed which will produce the required materials like mechanical sand (m sand) as input for standard block production.
“In a single shift alone, we shall produce over 27,000 blocks with dimensions 40mm x 200mm x 200mm. As per our initial plan, we will use two shifts,” Ablante explained.
He said that the daily production volume has a very huge gap compared with the current block production in the country that will allow providing the product at a competitive rate. He added that such kind of mass production also contributes to market stability and cuts artificial price hikes which is observed across the country.
The production facility has also planned to produce 2,500-meter square paver blocks per 8 hours or single shift with 60mm, 80mm and 100mm thickness as per the demand. For instance, the 100mm paver block built will be able to sustain a load of a heavy-duty truck while that of the 60mm products with international standards shall be built for walkways.
So far in Ethiopia, the traditional paver block thickness stands at not more than 40mm.
The company said that in the second phase of the plan the facility will commence the production and supply of standard pipe manhole, manhole base and concert manhole cover that are key for infrastructure development and help to create a visible difference to accelerate projects compared with the current practice.
Officials of the company told Capital that other production lines like other precast-producing hubs will be installed.
As per the plan the company targets to provide palletized door-to-door bulk product delivery with imported modern tracks that were purposely designed and manufactured for the same purpose.
“The delivery and bulk cement providing trucks have been procured from China,” officials explained. As per the current level, the company stands to create 150 jobs and requires about 100 tons of cement in two days for it to run production.
The factory is expected to commence production at the beginning of the coming budget year.
So far, the initial investment is estimated to tally to about 392 million birr, including 102 million birr for machinery procurement.
Last year the government had disclosed its plan to double the number of residential houses in the coming 10 years from the current about four million in all the type of houses.
Experts said that mass production will also allow the construction of affordable houses besides swift accomplishment.
As per the study conducted last budget year, there are one million residential houses demanded in the capital.
As per the projection, every year 471,000 houses are supposed to be constructed including that in rural areas. The number of newly constructed houses in the second five years would be 486,000 every year.
The construction will be carried out by all partners including individual residents, developers, or the government.
In the coming ten years, the Ministry of Urban Development and Infrastructure targets to see the construction of 4.4 million houses across the country which will double the current figure.
Ethiopia is the second-most populous and the fifth least urbanized country in Africa. At present, 21 percent of Ethiopia’s 112 million residents live in urban areas (23.5 million people), according to the national definition, this is significantly below the Sub-Saharan average of 40.4 percent. There are over 950 towns and cities in the country.

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