Finchaa Sugar Factory Project

New sugar project identified

Booker Tate’s involvement in Ethiopia began in 1976 when it was commissioned by the Ethiopian Government to undertake a comprehensive review of the country’s sugar industry. The first stage of this review recommended the Finchaa Valley as the priority location for new development. The second stage was a feasibility study of the area selected for the new sugar project.

Financial setbacks

Following the second stage report, a soil survey and further detailed technical studies of the Valley were conducted and in addition, detailed design and tender documents were prepared. Although the project financing arrangements commenced in the late 1970’s, several delays were experienced and it was not until 1988 that finance for the project was finally secured.

Factory development

In 1989, Booker Tate was awarded a five year contract to provide management services for the implementation phase of the initial estate development.

This contract was subsequently extended to include project management for the construction of the sugar factory (Finchaa Sugar Factory Project). The factory was designed to produce 85 000 tonnes of mill white sugar per year.

Project location

The Finchaa Valley is located in Wollega Province in west-central Ethiopia, some 300 km north west of Addis Ababa. The actual project site is on both the west and east banks of the Finchaa River, a river regulated by a hydro-electric dam. The estate supports a fully irrigated scheme utilising a dragline sprinkler system.

Completion of input to development phase

The factory construction was commissioned in 1998 and Booker Tate completed its input to the development phase of the project in June 2000.


In 2006/07, Booker Tate participated in the Neshe expansion study to investigate some 5 000 ha of new land for cane production.

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In Brief

  • 1977 Identification and feasibility study for new sugar project
  • 1978 Soil and land capability study
  • 1988 Finance secured
  • 1989 Management services contract awarded
  • 1990 Site works on land development started
  • 1994 Factory contract signed
  • 1995 Factory design and manufacturing commenced
  • 1998 Factory start-up achieved
  • 1999 Factory performance trials and first full crop completed
  • 2000 Booker Tate input to development phase completed
  • 2006 Booker Tate participates in Neshe expansion study
  • 2007 Neshe feasibility study and detailed design completed


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