- The factory started trial sugar production since March 27, 2017.
- The factory while entering regular production crushes 6 thousand to 6 thousand 500 tons of sugar cane a day. When it operates with its full capacity it will crush 12 thousand tons of sugar cane a day.
- When it starts working with its full gear it will have a capacity of producing 2.5 Million quintals of sugar and 28 Million litres of ethanol a year.
- It will also produce 60 Mega Watts of electricity and sends 40 of it to the national power grid using only 20 megawatts to itself.
- The source of this 6.67 Billion Birr sugar development project is the Chinese Development Bank. Its construction officially started in July, 2014 following an agreement signed between Sugar Corporation and the Chinese Company- Complant, constructor of the factory.
The research unit main centre was at Amsterdam, Netherlands when Ethiopia is introduced with the sugar industry in 1951 by the Dutch Company known as H.V.A. which later on made to be carried out at Wonji. Records show that it was since 1958 that trainings focusing on the science of sugar industry had been given when the above company had started cultivating cane and sugar production at wonji.
It was with the establishment of Sugar Corporation by the proclamation No.192/2010 that the research and training, structured at a division level, has got higher attention so as to accomplish the following tasks. These scopes of responsibilities are:-
- Conduct problem solving applied research and thereby originate technologies for commercial purpose;
- Enhancing productivity, boost production and minimize expenditures ;
- Properly apply research findings on every sugar factory’s cane plantation field and factories so as to improve facilitated production process;
- Identify problems encountered in the production processes and deliver technical and consultancy service in taking optimization measures;
- Evaluate the benefits of research findings on the industry as well as their impact on the environment and thereby outline new directions and strategies of research approach;
- Introduce factories and projects with methods and technologies of sugar production processes as well as with improved sugarcane seeds which give high production, resist disease, have high sugar yield and early maturing varieties and apply them practically,
- Outline work processes which enable technologies in operation continue with the set standard, select best experiences and apply them;
- Play a pivotal role in facilitating trainings and thereby support the industry with well trained and productive human resource.
In order to carry out the aforementioned responsibilities more efficiently the Research and Training Division which is located 110 K.M. from the capital at Wonji is reorganized in 2016 as Research and Development Centre. The Center is currently conducting sugar technology researches on all sugar factories and sugar development projects setting up research stations on each of them.
The Factory is found at Zone Three in Awash Fentallie and Dulecha districts of Afar Regional State, 50 kilo meters from Metehara Sugar Factory and 250 kilo meters from Addis Ababa. It is a project which has a total of 20,000 hectares of land to be cultivated with cane & its plantation stretches to the areas known as Kessem and Bolhomon. The Kessem Dam which has a capacity of holding 500 cubic meters water is the source from which sugarcane cultivation is being carried out. Irrigable land has reached 2,946 hectares while the construction of 20.5 kilo meters of main canal is completed. Currently, the factory has 8,413 hectares of land covered with cane among which 6,000 hectares cultivated by a private company known as Amibara Agricultural Development with which Sugar Corporation has signed contractual agreement.
Earlier the Kessem project was part of the expansion project of Metehara Sugar Factory. It was after the establishment of Sugar Corporation that the project was made to proceed as an independent entity. The construction contractor of this Factory is a Chinese company – COMPLANT. 517 residential and 20 service giving buildings or blocks are constructed.
The Factory making trial production by March, 2015 is now in regular operation. And, it will also be a factory with ethanol and co-generation facilities. The Factory is expected to start crushing 6,000 tons of sugarcane per day soon which will later on will develop to 10,000 TCD making it capable of producing 153,000 tons of sugar & 12,500 meter cube ethanol a year at the start and when it later reaches its maximum crushing capacity it will produce 260,000 tons of sugar and 30,000 meter cube ethanol annually. Moreover, the Factory out of the total 26 mega watt electric power it is expected to produce through its cogeneration facility, will contribute 15 mega watts to the national grid satisfying its own demand.
It is located at Western Ethiopia of Oromiya Regional State in eastern Wollega, Eilu Ababora and Jimma Zones at the Didessa Rift Valley at a distant of 540 kilo meters from the capital through the route of Addis Ababa-Jimma-Beddelie-Nekemet Road. The altitude of the area is 1,350 meters above sea level while its annual rainfall is 1,400 millimeter. Its rainy season is extends from May to October. The soil content which is usually black in color and rarely blue together with its climate makes the area suitable to sugarcane cultivation.
The Factory had been owned by a Pakistan company called Al-Habasha P.L.C. which had been unable to proceed the business. Therefore, the company had been transferred to the ownership to the Ethiopian government and was made to operate as a property of Sugar Corporation as of August, 2012. Over 90% of the construction of the plant was completed when it was transferred to the Corporation.
The Factory is inaugurated by FDRE Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegne on May, 2015. Commencing production by mid 2015, it is in operation with a design crushing capacity of 8,000 tons of cane a day. Equipped with necessary facilities, it is expected to produce electric power from its by-product which enables it satisfy its own power demand as well as export some to the national grid and also produce ethanol in the future.
The Factory in total will have 20,000 hectares of land cultivated with cane. Its source of water is the Didessa River. Currently, 1,660 hectares of land is made irrigable area. And, has 3,448 hectares of land covered with cane. 64 residential houses and two service giving buildings are constructed.
The factory is found in Oromiya Regional State in Horro Guderru Wellega Zone, Abay Chomen District in Fincha Rift Valley around 350 Kilo Meters away from the capital – Addis Ababa. Feasibility study including the topography and soil content of the area was conducted by Bukers Agricultural International Ltd. of Britain since 1978 while the project work had started in 1989. The finance needed to construct the factory was secured from the African Development Bank & African Development Fund; governments of Australia & Spain and domestic banks of the nation. Fincha River which is generating hydro electric power and then made reach the rift valley to water the sugarcane plantation field of Fincha Sugar Factory finally goes to Nile River as a tributary. The Factory’s command area is 67,098 hectares.
The factory started production in 1998 and till July, 2013 the average annual production capacity of Finchaa Sugar Factory was 110,000 tons of sugar while it had the capacity of producing 8,000 meter cube ethanol. Till the last months of 2010 it had been the only factory in the country that produces ethanol.
The factory has carried out expansion projects both on its sugarcane plantation field and its sugar mill. Hence it has come up with a plant of 12,000 TCD design capacity capable of annually producing 270,000 tons of sugar and 20,000 meter cube ethanol. The Mill’s previous design capacity was 5,000 TCD. To acquire and cultivate cane cultivation field capable enough to feed the expanded plant with more than double crushing capacity.
The factory’s agricultural expansion project has been carried out around the areas known as East Bank (eastern side of Finchaa River) , Neshie and also on the idle areas found on the Western side of the river. The factory, therefore, in near future will bring its total sugarcane plantation land which had been only 12,170 hectares close to 21,000 hectares. The cultivation land expansion job has enabled the factory to expand its cane covered land to more than 19,000 hectares till 2016. The Factory produces 31 Mega Watt electric powers out of which 10 Mega Watt is exported to the national grid.