The Tanzanian government is set to build a new tyre plant. According to local news reports, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr Adelhem Meru, told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) the new factory will be based on new technology.
Prelude to a new era of production or the Tyre Maker Who Cried Wolf? News out of Tanzania suggests that General Tyre East Africa Ltd. (GTEA) may be ready to start making tyres again, something it hasn’t done for close on a decade. And while Tyrepress.com reported on moves to recommence production several years ago and has followed the often bitter negotiations between minority shareholder Continental AG and Tanzania’s government since 2007, this time the decision to restart tyre manufacture lies with one party alone.
The Tanzanian Government is reportedly in final talks with Continental AG on the subject of buying back its 26 per cent shareholding in the now-defunct General Tyre East Africa (GTEA) tyre manufacturing company. According to local news reports, the government intends to revamp the tyre company.
Vipal Rubber recently conducted a training session with the team from Nas Tyres Services Ltd (NTS), the company’s partner in Tanzania, East Africa. The event took place at the retreader’s headquarters in the city of Dar es Salaam, the country’s economic and political capital.
The Tanzanian government has reiterated its commitment to restarting production at the General Tyre East African Limited (GTEA) factory before the end of this year.
The state-owned venture was once a significant player in the East African tyre market, along with Kenya’s former Firestone operation. According to local news sources, it started manufacturing tyres in 1971 and at its peak produced up to 1,200 tyres a day and employed over 4,000 workers.
According to Nairobi based news portal The East African, the nation of Tanzania is “struggling” to end the multi-billion dollar General Tyres East Africa (GTEA) partnership brokered with Continental AG in the mid-1990s. The East African states that Continental, 38 per cent shareholder in the venture, has been “feuding with the state” since 2006. The GTEA facility in northern Tanzania has been closed since 2007, with 400 workers locked out.