Omo Kuraz Sugar Development Project
It is a project found in South Omo Zone (Selamago and Gnanegatom Districts), Bench-Maji Zone (Surma and Mieinitshasha Districts) and Keffa Zone (Diecha District) of the former Southern Nations, Nationalities & Peoples Region and South Western Ethiopia Region.
It is about 825-954 km from Addis Ababa via Hosaena – Arbaminch -Jinka or 859-988 km via Shashemenne – ArbaMinch – Jinka route. It is an hour flight to Jinka plus a vehicle journey that stretches from 80 -220 km.
The project has four factories under different construction levels which, while each working with their full capacity, can crush 60,000 tons of sugarcane a day and use sugar cane developed over 100,000 hectares land. When they produce in full capacity each of the three can crush 12 thousand tons of sugarcane a day and produce 250,000 tons of sugar and 28 million liters ethanol. They also generate 45 megawatts electricity and send 29 of it to the national power grid.
Similarly the remaining one factory can crush 24 thousand tons of sugarcane a day and produce 500,000 tons of sugar and 56 million liters ethanol a year. Furthermore, it generates 90 megawatts of electricity of which it sends 58 megawatts after consuming 32 megawatts for itself.
Among the four sugar factories those constructed by the Chinese Company COMPLANT i.e Omo Kuraz Sugar Factory Two and Omo Kuraz Sugar Factory Three have already entered into production while Omo Kuraz One and Omo Kuraz Five are under different construction levels. And, had the construction work of Omo-Kuraz Sugar Factory Number Five which had been terminated comes to its completion as per its crushing design capacity, it would produce five million quintals sugar 56 million liter ethanol per year as well as would send 58 megawatts electric power out of its total 90 megawatt production to the national grid.
Till June, 2022, over 53 billion birr has been spent for the four sugar factories in Omo Kuraz Sugar Development Project for capital investment (irrigation infrastructures, land preparation, sugarcane development, housing, factory construction, etc.); project pre operation as well as operational budget.
In collaboration with former Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, Ethiopian Sugar Industry Group has been implementing various life-style-changing activities to benefit the local society and hence bring about regional transformation within the country.
Accordingly, the Group has spent about 86 million birr to benefit the local community excluding expenses of irrigation infrastructures development.
Hence, more than 180 social service institutions (schools, health posts, and community policing offices, local area administration offices, association offices, mills and animal health posts, potable water, internal roads, irrigated land supply) are constructed and giving service.
1,141,165 birr compensation fee is given to pastoralists whose beehives and crops had been affected due to coffer dam and main canal construction work.
Public Discussion and Mobilization
3,084,309.3 birr is spent to hold public discussions at different times to raise their awareness about the benefits of the sugar development.
2,866,658 birr is spent for a medium level skill training programs so as to benefit the local society from the job opportunities created at the project.
Ever since the project started in 2011 more than 110,000 local community members have got job opportunities by the project, contractors and micro and small enterprises on provisional, permanent and contractual basis. More than 300 micro and mall enterprises are organized in the area and have begun work playing their own share in the creation of the above job opportunities.
Sugarcane Outgrowing Associations
In order to benefit pastoralists of the area permanently, each household has been given 0.75 hectares irrigated land since 2013/14 and 2,205 families organized in four associations have become beneficiaries. The total area of land given for the pastoralists to develop and sell sugarcane to the factory is 1,250 hectares. In addition to this the pastoralists for the first time in their history have produced crops like maize which transformed them to semi farmers.