GE Power restarts production at Metahara Sugar Factory in Ethiopia

Sugar FactoryGE Power and FieldCore, GE’s independent field services execution arm, have restarted Metahara Sugar Factory in Ethiopia, seven months after the plant was severely damaged by a major thunderstorm

outage execution service of two steam turbines, which lasted 20 days, succeeded in bringing back the 5000-person workforce and solving sugar scarcity for more than the 100mn people in Ethiopia.

Excited about the starting of the factory, Metahara’s deputy factory manager Fahmi Dawud said, “Hotels and supermarkets had run out of sugar, and it was a critical situation. We are excited to hear the machines humming again.”

Elisee Sezan, general manager, GE’s power services business for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “We all experienced a great sense of accomplishment when the turbines were revived at startup and we heard them working again. This project reflects the passion, the wealth of power generation experience and the world-class services capabilities that keep GE and FieldCore competitive and consistent around the globe for our customers.”

The Metahara Sugar Factory is in the Oromiya Regional State, about 200km from Addis Ababa and it produces about 136,000 tonnes of sugar annually, representing an estimated 20 per cent of Ethiopia’s sugar consumption.

Daniel Hailu, executive country business leader for GE’s global growth organisation, explained that sugar is a major commodity for Ethiopia, both for local consumption and export.

GE works with the government, state-owned enterprises as well as private sector corporate customers in Ethiopia to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport or aviation sectors. In 2016, GE opened a 60-capacity permanent office in Addis Ababa and now has more than 40 employees – 90 per cent of which are Ethiopians.

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