The aim is to provide facilities for the 31 tanneries in Ethiopia. It is hoped that they will relocate there within three years or set up their own disposal systems. The construction is due to start soon following a feasibility study conducted by UNIDO.

The Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) could cost over US$42 million dollars, says Berhanu Nigus, coordinator of the Production & Productivity Sector at LIDI.

The financial support could come from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), which has helped with the prefeasibility study. LIDI is confident that the Ethiopian government will also support the project financially.

Seven stakeholders including the Ministry of Industry (MoI), Addis Ababa University, Federal Environmental Protection, UNIDO, LIDI, Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Authority and the Oromia Environmental Protection Authority are involved in the project.

“Getting all the tanneries on one site will be cost-effective in treating their waste”, says Tadesse Haile, state Minister for Industry.

The next move, after building the CEPT will be establishing an industrial zone for leather factories says Berhanu. The tanneries will move to the zone voluntarily, he added.

Two years ago, LIDI secured 100 hectares of land from the Oromia Region. “We agreed with the Modjo town municipality to make Modjo a leather cluster,” says Berhanu.

Following the recent imposition of 150% tax on semi-processed leather products, which is intended to discourage export, the tanneries have told LIDI that they have invested heavily in new machinery and cannot afford a CEPT waste treatment plant.

Source: Addis Fortune