Midroc’s Lame Dairy opens new $14.5m processing plant

Lame Dairy, a subsidiary of Midroc Ethiopia Technology Group, has opened a new dairy processing plant in Addis Ababa. The facility, which has cost Br600m ($14.5m), has a processing capacity of 160,000 litres per day.

Lame Dairy was established in 2007 after Ethiopian conglomerate Midroc Ethiopia Technology Group bought the state-owned Dairy Products Development Enterprise for Br62m ($2.2m). Midroc was founded by tycoon Sheik Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi. Midroc’s businesses include the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa and supermarket chain Queen’s.

Construction of the new plant began in 2019. It will more than double the processing capacity from 70,000 litres of milk a day to 160,000 litres a day. The milk will be branded under Lame Dairy’s UHT Shola milk brand. The plant will also produce cheese and yoghurt for the domestic market.

There are approximately 40 dairy processors in Ethiopia. Most are small, and serve only a local consumer base. Ethiopia is looking to increase the production of food locally, reduce reliance on imports (which, in turn, cuts valuable foreign currency leaving the country). The government is seeking to position the country as an attractive site for foreign investment. With the construction of the new Chinese-built railway line from Addis Ababa to the port of Djibouti (and due to be extended to Sudan), Ethiopian food manufacturers also have the possibility of targeting export markets such as Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia.