President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned the construction of a Shs185 billion cement plant in Kasese, the third of its kind in the country. The investment by Hima Cement, a subsidiary of France-based Lafarge Group, will boost production capacity from the current 350,000t to 830,000tpa.
Speaking at the colourful function on October 26, Lafarge Group Chief Executive Officer Bruno Lafont said when completed and commissioned in 2010, the facility will include the installation of additional clinker capacity of 271, 000 tones per annum."
He said that Hima’s investment was a clear indication of the government’s investor-friendly policies that has continued to attract Foreign Direct Investments and also a testimony that Uganda’s economy was on a steady growth path.
Mr Museveni commended Larfage’s investment and pledged continued government’s support to their projects in the country given the importance of cement to the economy.
"The cement industry is of high and strategic importance to the economy of Uganda. We need cement for the construction of hydropower dams of Bujagali and Karuma and other infrastructure such as roads and bridges. I am happy this new plant will address this challenge," he said.
However, Mr Museveni challenged cement producers on the quality, which he said would save the investors in the construction industry the burden of importing the product.
Last year, Uganda spent $36 million to import 396,000 tonnes of cement, a figure that is expected to double in 2007.
Currently, Uganda’s cement production is estimated at about 1 million tonnes from Hima (350,000) and Tororo (700,000) - hardly enough to satisfy the ever-increasing demand.