Turkish company plans €750m industrial park for Volkswagen in Ethiopia’s Tigray region

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The industrial park would be near these Ethiopian highlands in the Hintalo district, Tigray province (Ji-Elle/Creative Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)

A Turkish construction group has announced plans to build a €750m industrial park in Ethiopia’s Tigray province.

Work on the 500ha facility is scheduled to begin in March next year and be complete in two years. It will be led by Serdur Group, an Istanbul-based contractor that also makes furniture and manages hotels.

East African website The Exchange said the park would make parts for Volkswagen. In September, South African website Business Day reported that the German car maker was considering an Ethiopian manufacturing plant, in addition to those already announced for Ghana and Nigeria.

A VW spokesperson said the company was looking at a component assembly plant, with vehicle assembly “under consideration in the long term”. Volkswagen requires a market that is able to absorb 100,000 units a year before it will open a car-making factory.

Sekan Mehmet Durdu, the chairman of Serdur (Serdur Group)

Sekan Mehmet Durdu, the chairman of Serdur (pictured), has been a vocal advocate of investment in Ethiopia. In May he called on Turkish investors to prioritise Ethiopia, adding that his own company had spent two years assessing its prospects, and intended to open a hotel and furniture outlet in Addis Ababa by 2020.

The site of the proposed industrial estate is the town of Adi Gudem, which is in Hintalo woreda, or district, in the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray. Kelelie Hagaze, administrator of the woreda, said his office was ready to provide the necessary support, including granting the land needed to build the park.

Durdu said Serdur was also planning to launch projects in Sudan, Nigeria and Ghana.

GCR

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