Sunday, August 24, 2014 

New phosphates project for Uganda during 2016

GROW FOOD: Museveni advised locals

TORORO, Eastern Uganda – Chinese firm, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group (Uganda) Company Limited, are to develop Uganda’s huge phosphates deposits in Uganda.

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni officially launched the Sukuru Phosphate Project located in Tororo district in Eastern Uganda.

The project is worth $620 million and will have a complex of factories that will have an annual output of 300,000 tons of phosphates.

There will also be production of over 300,000 tons of steel from the neighbouring plant, 200,000 tons of Sulphric acid from the sulphuric acid plant and 100,000 tons of Rare Earth Wires from the Rare Earth factory.

The project will also see the manufacturing of 300,000 tons of gypsum from the gypsum plant as well as generating 12MW of electricity from the waste heat power generation plant.

It is expected to start production in December 2016 and will employ more than 1,200 Ugandans. 

The mineral deposits at Sukuru Phosphate Project are expected to last over 100 years and will generate an annual turnover of $350 million.

Museveni appealed to locals in Tororo to take advantage of the factory to produce more food that they will sell to a big population that will be working in the factory.

“I am glad to come here to start the construction of this project; you people of Tororo will get jobs. You can grow more food and sell some to the workers. If I was here, I would get rich because I would sell my milk to the workers and earn money”, he said.

The President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group, Dr. L.V. Weidong, was also present at the ground breaking. Weidong congratulated Uganda upon the takeoff of the project and commended Museveni and the Parliament for the continued support to the project.

He pledged his group’s commitment to complete the project on record time which, he said, will cement further the cordial relationship between China and Uganda.

Museveni said the government some years ago, spent over $40 million for the exploration of minerals in the country in the geological survey exercise.

He said a number of minerals have been discovered and will be used for strengthening durable infrastructure as well as enhancing education.

Museveni said once the minerals are exhausted, another source of wealth, which is intellect, is used. He cited the example of Japan that does not have minerals but uses intellect to create wealth by manufacturing vehicles, among other products.

He congratulated the Chinese group for overcoming all hurdles that were threatening the commencement of the construction works. He also called on Ugandans to stop wasting time on non-issues and frustrating investors who come to the country to help us build our capacity.

“I would like to congratulate these investors. They did what they told me within a short time. They will bring us other investors. These people have built a lot of capacity. They can help us also build our capacity”, he said.

Uganda’s Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi noted that phosphates offer Uganda opportunities, especially in the agricultural sector that today stands at only 30% total output. He described the ceremony as a defining moment for agriculture in Uganda that should trigger production.

By Paul Tentena, Sunday, August 24th, 2014