Birla eyes up Ethiopian project

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Ethiopia: In what would be its maiden overseas venture, India's Birla Corp has announced plans to set up a cement plant in Ethiopia. The MP Birla group company has recently formed a wholly-owned subsidiary, Birla CorpCement Manufacturing plc, in Ethiopia to establish a plant.

"We plan to go there for exploration of limestone to set up a cement plant," said a Birla Corp official. "We would also explore opportunities to set up power plants there."

While Ethiopia is economically poor it is endowed with significant limestone deposits. Cement companies have started eyeing projects in the country after the government started facilitating the import of coal. The country currently imports cement because local demand far outstrips supply and acute power shortages keep new investments away.

This is not the first time that Birla Corp has tried to enter the Ethiopian cement market. In 2010 it made a contract bid for the construction of a cement plant at Habesha but lost out to Chinese competitors. Chinese mining companies have taken up extensive limestone mining contracts in Ethiopia in recent years, firming up long-term off-take contracts.

Last modified on 13 June 2012

URL: https://www.globalcement.com/news/item/981-birla-eyes-up-ethiopian-project

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