ETHIOPIA – Japan International Cooperation Agency has approved a project proposal that aims at establishing a tyre retreading plant in Ethiopia.

The Japanese development agency accepted the project proposal that was submitted by Fukunaga Engineering Co., Ltd, a Japanese firm, to set up a tyre retreading plant on the premises of one of Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise’s locations.

The plant will be built inside the Enterprise’s Qality Branch, Akaki Qality District, where the Qality Customs Branch Office is located. At that location, thousands of old and used tyres have been dumped.

Estimated to cost up to $1.3million, the plant will have a capacity of putting a new rubber surface on the outer part of a worn tyre on 50 tyres a day.

After the worn tyres are collected, the workers will select suitable casings for retreads and send them through a rigorous visual inspection process.

 Those that pass the inspection stage will be sent to buffering and then repairing. Cementing the injury by vulcanising rubber stems to fill the damage is the following stage.

For the implementation of the project, Fukunaga, the Enterprise, the Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ethiopian, Chemical & Construction Inputs Industry Development Institute signed a memorandum of understanding last April.

The parties have been waiting for JICA’s – the financier – approval of the proposal.

Sara Sem, communications officer at JICA, said; ”We expect the pilot phase of the project to begin in January or February of 2020, tentatively”

JICA, currently has 29 ongoing projects, with 11 of the largest in agriculture, eight in industrial development, eight more in infrastructure and two in education.

Between 2010 and last year, JICA disbursed nearly 5.4 billion dollars worth of grant aid and technical cooperation.

During the three-year project, Fukunaga will import the machinery from Japan, install them and train the Enterprise’s staff who will be working at the plant.

The Japanese company will manage the plant for three years, and then it will be fully transferred to the Enterprise.

 Fukunaga will provide technical assistance for the project, while the Enterprise will own and operate the plant, and the Ministry of Trade & Industry will promote tyre retreading and recycling technology in Ethiopia. Fukunaga will also train two employees who will work at the plant in Japan