Addis Ababa University Institute of Technology and Total Ethiopia have signed a contract to initiate the first phase of a used oil treatment plant, yet to be set up. According to the Deputy Director of the Institute, Dr. Berhanu Assefa, the partnership between the university and Total will be an initial step to addressing the issue of used oil currently putting a pressure on environmental well being.

“Oil is usually discharged in different places without considering the impact on the environment. As a University this has been our concern; we know it has a lot of pressure on the environment, especially if it makes its way into rivers. We discussed this issue with Total Ethiopia and we decided to come up with a project,” he said.

According to the contract signed between the two parties, Total Ethiopia will be covering the cost of the first phase of the project, conclusive research to be conducted for more accurate information on the amount of oil discharged into the environment and the appropriate technology needed for treating the oil.

“After the first phase is concluded, we will work with different stakeholders such as the government as well as those involved in the oil industry. There are plans to make this project nationwide and we need the support of all stakeholders,” Berhanu said.

According to Christophe Ferrand, Sales and Marketing Director representing Total Ethiopia at the signing event held on Monday, November 23, at 5 Kilo University, the collaboration between Total Ethiopia and the University has been ongoing since July 2014.

“Total Ethiopia and Addis Ababa University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work jointly in 2014. Through this partnership, Total Ethiopia has been committed to support the University through different actions such as trainings for prospective graduates of Mechanical, Industrial and Chemical Engineering, working on research and development activities and so on,” he stated.

He further noted that Total Ethiopia has given training to 138 AAU graduating students of the Technology Faculty in 2015, and 6 young graduates have already been enrolled in Total Ethiopia as interns. Another two have been posted at Total Dubai and Total Uganda, as part of Total International Young Graduates Program.

Total Ethiopia will provide financial assistance of around one million Birr for the first phase of the project.

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