By Our Reporter
President Museveni on Tuesday (23rd October 2018) commissioned the first phase of the Uganda-China Free Zone of International Industrial Cooperation project in Tororo.
The first phase of this Sukulu Project includes an office living base, mineral dressing plant, phosphate fertilizer plant, unbaked block plant, machine repair centre and a laboratory centre.
The Comprehensive Industrial Park will manufacture Cement, Steel, Glass and 300,000 metric tons of pure organic fertilizers annually- a first for the country and the region.
This project is expected to feed into Uganda’s Vision 2040 and National Development and Reform Commission of China capacity cooperation and Making it a key project of the economic and trade cooperation between China and Uganda and an important measure for the implementation of the “Eighth Action” plan of the Beijing Summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum in September 2018.
Located at the boarder of Uganda and Kenya, the project will also benefit neighboring countries like Rwanda, DR Congo, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Sukulu Project sits on about 1800 acres of land and will be supplied with electricity by a new 220kv substation in Tororo district.
The second phase that comprises of the steel, glass, ferroalloy and tin smelting plant, Shea processing factory, humid acid fertilizer, cement fiberboard plant, and wood factory will be completed and begin operating at the end of July 2019.
The third phase to include the phosphorus chemical plant, iron foundry, and medical glove factory will be completed and will begin operating at the end of 2020.
The $620m (sh2.3 trillion) investment by Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Company Limited, a Chinese firm, comprises a phosphate fertilizer plant, a steel mill, a power plant, sulphuric acid factory and a glass-making plant.
The facility is expected to produce about 300,000 tonnes of organic fertilizers annually and create about 2,000 jobs at its peak of production.
The project was initially meant to commence production at the end of 2016 but was delayed by disagreement over land compensation. The plant machinery has been assembled and installed on site.
Jane Guo, the chief executive officer of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Company, says the fertiliser manufacturing plant already employs 500 Ugandans in construction, assembly and casual labour.