By David Muwanga
Forty Chinese technicians who were contracted to install machinery for the expansion of Electro-Maxx Limited, are yet to return to Uganda due to Covid-19.
The company which is an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Africa producing more than 20MW capacity includes production of low cost Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) which would in turn reduce the costs of power in Uganda.
The company plans to reduce power costs from 35 cents to eight cents per Kilowatt unit.
Patrick Bitature, the company chairman said the plan is to expand the project with the first phase estimated to cost $100m while the total costs of the expansion program is $300m.
“This project is of critical importance to our economy and government installations because we must always have strategic power in case there is a shortage especially due to dropping in water levels,” he said.
Bitature explained that management is still negotiating with government to revive the power production.
“In the process of negotiations, government also contracted the company to deliver and install four additional generators to Arua, bringing to eight the number of generators in the district. The four generators with the capacity of producing one Megawatt each were delivered to Arua from our Tororo plant,” he said.
The executive director of Tororo Cement Limited, B.M Gagrani said that the company would be producing 3metric tons of cement per day. “Our production capacity has reduced from 3 metric tons to between 2.2 to 2.3 metric tons per day due to consistent power shortages,” he said at a meeting with officials from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) who conducted regional tour of investors in Eastern Uganda to follow up on how they were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gagrani added that despite power shortages, the company is implementing an expansion programme in three phases.
“As of today we have replaced all the old equipment with updated technology, we are targeting to increase production capacity from 20,000 tons to 200,000 per month,” he said adding that the company has not borrowed any funds for the new technology.
The director at National Cement Company Uganda Limited Kanti Mepani told the delegation that through the expansion, they plan to invest $70m and building capacity from one line production to three with a turnover of 300,000 tonnes per day.