Saudi billionaire eyes $3.4bn Ethiopia projects
Derba Group to back cement, steel, agriculture and transport projects
Ethiopian-born Saudi billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi says his Derba Group is to invest $3.4bn in seven industrial projects in the east African nation over the next five years.
The Group was formed in January this year and is made up of three Ethiopian companies owned by Al Amoudi – and plans to invest billions into cement, steel, agriculture and transport operations projects in the country.
Al Amoudi’s Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, which produces rice to export to Saudi Arabia, has leased 10,000 hectares of land in Ethiopia’s western Gambella region where it plans to build two rice mill factories, a spokesman told newswire Bloomberg.
Derba Midroc Cement, Ethiopia’s largest producer of the building material, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi this month. CEO Haile Assegide said the factory will make Ethiopia “self-sufficient” in cement, according to Haile.
The five other projects targeted for investment are Derba Transport, Maya PP Bag, Derba Lime and Chemicals, Toussa Steel Mill and Dashen Cement, he said. The government will earn more than $350m a year from “value-added tax alone” from the seven projects, said Haile.
The group’s other interests include gold mining, trading, construction and cable-manufacturing operations.