Ethiopian First Bio Fuel Firm Fails Payment Promise

By MIKIAS SEBSIBE

The firm requests more time to raise millions of dollars owed

Flora Eco Power (Ethiopia) Plc failed to pay around 2.5 million dollars that it allegedly owes to various institutions and individuals by June 10, 2010, the due date that it promised, following close to 40 lawsuits brought against it.

The lawsuits were brought against it after its team of Israeli managers absconded in April 2009. The majority of the lawsuits brought against it were labour disputes, while the rest were brought by different suppliers. It promised to pay all the money that it owed to all the claimants, including Adami Tulu’s 578,780 Br, by June 10, according to a letter that Flora Eco Power sent to the Federal High Court in response to a ruling in favour of Adami Tulu Pesticide Processing SC.

Flora_eco_power_Ethiopia
Flora Eco Power Ethiopia

Four hundred employees expect to be paid five months’ salary and 15 months worth of provident funds. It also agreed to pay the equivalent of 990,640 dollars to settle debt taken from Nib International Bank (NIB). It also owes money to Nyala Insurance SC and Ethiopian Insurance Corporation for vehicle and medical coverage, and there are unpaid suppliers of fertilisers, chemicals, and fuel, it admitted.

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Although a new manager was appointed to settle company affairs two months after the previous management left, he has failed to settle the various monies the company owes.

“Many of the cases are related to the unlawful termination of contracts of employment during the previous management,” said Francois Achour, who was appointed after the former managers left.

“Since my arrival, we have already paid close to three million dollars to some of our creditors, all we need is a little more time to be able to pay the remaining 2.48 million dollars and resume our work,” Achour claimed.

The company is currently trying to raise money by selling shares through the stock market as well as soliciting assistance from banks to help it settle its debt and resume its operations, according to Achour.

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“I came here expecting to take close to five million Birr for four months of employee salaries, rent, and other bills,” said Shami Ahmed, who manages a project for the compan. “But there was no money.”

Adami Tulu Pesticides Process SC, whom the Federal High Court ruled in favour of on June 4, 2010, is yet to be paid as well, according to an official at the Finance Department of the company.

Flora Eco Power is the first company to invest in bio fuel production by processing castor beans with an investment of 671 million Br. It was granted 8,000 hectares of land by the Oromia Regional State and an additional 2,500 hectares for community farming from the Harar Regional State for that purpose.

Source: Addis fortune

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