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Ethiopia building Africa’s largest cargo terminal

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Deliveries for Airport in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Technical building equipment comes from GermanyKfW IPEX-Bank is financing the export of the technical interior equipment of the new air cargo terminal at Addis Ababa international airport with a loan amounting to EUR 32.8 million.

Borrower and investor is Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline and member of the Star Alliance. General planning as well most important technical components of the building, cooling and storage facilities come from the exporter Unitechnik Systems from Germany.

KfW IPEX-Bank and the French Agency for Development (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) are acting as both co-arrangers and lenders of the financing. KfW IPEX-Bank financing will also benefit from a twelve-year term and export credit insurance from the Federal Republic of Germany (“Hermes cover”). AFD is providing in parallel a loan amounting to a further EUR 50 million to finance the building (incl. airside and landside apron work) constructed by local construction firm Varnero. “The conclusion of this export financing shows that German quality and engineering know-how is globally demanded, specifically for high-quality long-lasting technical equipment”, says Christian K. Murach, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank. “With our financing we are not only contributing to the improvement of the infrastructure of a prospering country but also to securing many highly skilled jobs – be it on site in Addis Ababa or with the exporter in Germany.”

Ethiopian Airlines’ new cargo terminal is among the largest projects in the history of Unitechnik Systems based in Wiehl in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Already in 2006 the company played an important role in the construction of the existing air cargo terminal at Addis Ababa airport. Most recently Unitechnik supplied an air cargo terminal in Durban/South Africa with cooling equipment. The technology for this current project is adapted to the needs of the client and combines relatively low complexity with a high grade of usability. It is robust, easy to handle, to service and to control.

This air cargo terminal financed by KfW IPEX-Bank and AFD will be erected in two phases reaching in its final stage of expansion an annual capacity of 1.2 million tonnes of air cargo. That will make it the largest air cargo terminal in Africa and one of the largest in the world. It is integral part of Ethiopian Cargo Vision 2025 aiming at supporting fast growing volumes of perishable exports of fruits, flowers and meat mainly to destinations in Europe and the Middle East. Ethiopian Cargo is the largest cargo operator in Africa with 24 freighter destinations using 8 dedicated cargo aircraft, mainly wide-bodies such as the B777-200 LR freighter. By 2025 Ethiopian Cargo is planning to serve 37 international destinations with a fleet of 18 dedicated freighters.

About KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Within the KfW Group, KfW IPEX-Bank is responsible for international project and export finance. Its function of providing financing to boost the German and European economy is derived from the legal mandate assigned to KfW. It offers medium- and long-term financing to support key export industries, to develop economic and social infrastructure and to fund environmental and climate protection projects. KfW IPEX-Bank operates as a legally independent group subsidiary and plays a major role in fulfilling KfW’s promotional mission. It is represented in the most important economic and financial centres across the globe.


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