Ethiopia: Turkish BMET aims at African power demand


Turkish cable maker to increase international market share amid rising demand for electricity, telecoms across the continent

by Addis Getachew

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia  – Turkish cable manufacturer BMET is expanding production to meet rising demand across Africa, BMET Chairman Ahmet Turan Yangin told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.

Investment in power grids is indeed critical for Africa, according to the Power Africa initiative. All of sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of 961 million, has access to less power than New York city (population 10 million). Power plants in Africa generate less than 4,000 megawatts annually on average, according to Power Africa.  Such facilities in developing countries normally provide ten times that amount. 

BMET, a Turkish cable manufacturer based in Kayseri, signed a contract with the Ethiopian government in November 2013 to provide cable to the Ethiopian Electric Power agency.

But now the company, which produces energy cables, communication cables and fiber optics cables, is setting its sights on demand across Africa.

“We already supply markets in Kenya and Djibouti,” Turan said. “But Africa is a rising continent with a great many telecom and energy infrastructure projects being carried out on a large scale. This is a growing market for companies like ours.”

Turan said that the company currently has capacity to produce 24000 tons of copper cables, and 48,000 tons aluminum cables each year.

According to the Ethiopian Metals Industry Development Institute, the three cable manufacturers in Ethiopia have already seen exports worth $1.3 million in from 2014 to 2015, and this small start will expand rapidly to meet increasing demand across the continent, the institute told Anadolu Agency.

Turan is concerned, however, about the availability of skilled workers as his company expands. “We are working with Technical and Vocational Education and Training schools, and universities and colleges to increase training.”

Turkish companies have invested more than $3 billion in Ethiopia to date, according to government statistics.