June 13, 2013, By Manuel Soque
Angola is spending $1 billion to revamp three fabric plants that will employ 2,700 people, said the local unit of Marubeni Corp. (8002), Japan’s biggest trader of grains and food products, which is rehabilitating the factories.
Reconstruction of the $270 million Textang II facility, which will be able to produce 9 million meters (30 million feet) of fabric annually, may be completed in two months, Koichi Nagashima, managing director of Marubeni’s Angolan unit, said in a June 6 interview in the capital, Luanda. Two other plants will start output in 2015, he said.
The Japanese Bank for International Cooperation has provided Angola with a $1 billion credit line to pay for the upgrades, according to the website of the Asian country’s embassy in the African nation.
“These projects will help diversify the economy and create jobs for Angolans,” Nagashima said. “They are very important.”
The economy of Angola, which gained independence from Portugal in 1975, is recovering from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. The country is striving to diversify its economy, which the International Monetary Fund says depends on oil for 40 percent of its output.
Africa Textil in central Benguela province will be able to produce about 2 million bed sets and 12 million towels each year from February 2015, Nagashima said. The Satec factory in Kwanza Norte province will have capacity to make 4 million shirts and 6 million meters of fabric annually from the third quarter of 2015, he said.
Spinning and weaving equipment from Japan, South Korea, China and some European countries are already being imported, Nagashima said.
After construction is completed, Textang II will employ about 700 people while Africa Textil and Satec plan to provide 1,000 jobs each, Nagashima said.
Teijin Ltd. (3401), a Japanese carbon-fiber maker, is providing biological-treatment equipment to cut sludge from waste water in the dyeing process by 50 percent more than the old system that the plants used, according to a statement on the embassy’s website.