ADDIS ABABA, March 5 (Xinhua) -- West China Cement Limited has forged a joint venture with Ethiopian industrial conglomerate, East African Holding S.C., for a 2.2-billion-U.S. dollar industrial project dubbed, Lemmi National Cement S.C. Industrial Complex, which is to be carried out in Lemmi town, Ensaro Woreda (District) of the Amhara Regional State, about 130 km north of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The Ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the construction of the mega industrial complex, which is to be carried out in different phases, was held on Thursday in the presence of Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Chief Administrator of Amhara Regional State Agegnehu Teshager, Ethiopian Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as well as other high-level regional and federal officials, among others.
Lying on 270 hectares of land, the industrial complex will have massive projects, including, cement, glass, gypsum and other factories, which upon completion are expected to create job opportunities for about 5,000 Ethiopian citizens.
The first phase of the project, which includes a state-of-the-art factory producing 10,000 tons of cement per day, is expected to be completed within a period of 18 months.
Lemmi is a small town with abundant resources of building raw materials, and the construction of the industrial complex in the town will play a significant role in substituting imported building materials and utilizing the local resources effectively.
It is also expected to play a role in meeting the ever-growing demand for building material and also addressing, to some extent, the ever-increasing price of cement in the country.
Laying the foundation stone, President Sahle-Work has hailed the would-be-constructed mega industrial complex as it will make a huge contribution to the country's industrial development in general, and for the improved livelihood of the local people in particular.
She has called on all stakeholders to encourage and provide the companies with the necessary support as well as to take timely measures when needed that the project is successfully accomplished as per the schedule.
"I would like to call upon you, the local people, who have a big role for the success of the project, to actively participate in it, to take care of it, to look after it, and also to ensure its safety," noted the President.
Reiterating the significant contribution of the project to the industrial development in the country in general, and in the region in particular, Agegnehu Teshager said that his regional government would provide all the necessary support and assistance to the successful accomplishment of the project.
Speaking on his part, Zhang Jimin, Chairman of West China Cement Ltd., noted that the project serves to also further strengthen the longstanding friendship between the peoples of China and Ethiopia.
Stating that his company has already invested in some African countries, Zhang said his Company has a plan to make Ethiopia a major investment destination in the coming years.
He also noted that the industrial complex in Ethiopia would be carried out as per the schedule, by observing the set rules and regulations and also in a manner that ensures environmental protection and work safety as well as energy saving with international standards and the criteria required for modern time plant.
He also expressed his belief that the leadership at different levels and the local community would provide strong support in time of need to address possible problems that may come across while the project is in progress.
Bizuayehu Tadelle, Chairman of East African Holding S.C., stated that the joint venture investment has come after each of the two companies has taken respective initiatives and assessed one another's competence and commitment to the mega project.
Reiterating his special feeling of the project, Bizuayehu has expressed his dream of seeing the project completed as per the schedule, thereby benefiting the local people and improving their livelihood, in particular, and also supporting industrial development in the region and in the country in general.
"To this end, we will do all our possible," he has noted.
East African Holding, a leading industrial conglomerate in Ethiopia, is playing a prominent role in the industrialization of the country during the last decade.
Emphasizing on the enormous significance of the industrial complex, heads of the Ensaro Woreda and Lemmi town, have expressed the commitment of their respective administrations to providing support and assistance towards the successful realization of the project. Enditem