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|March 16th, 2013, 01:22 PM||#1221|
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Mauritius eyes trade deals in Uganda market
By Stephen Otage
Posted Friday, March 15 2013 at 02:00
The exhibition will enhance trade between the business community in Uganda and Mauritius.
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A delegation of 27 companies from Mauritius is expected in the country this weekend to stage a two-day exhibition showcasing goods made in Mauritius and source business partnerships in Uganda.
According to Mr Amos Tindyebwa, the executive director of the Trade and Development Centre (TBDC), the exhibition—the second of its kind— will include buyer-seller meetings targeting the business community in Uganda that has been traditionally importing goods of questionable quality from the Far East and China yet Mauritius is producing similar goods of better quality which are enjoyed in USA and UK.
Led by the Mauritius Trade, Industry and Consumer Protection minister, Mr Cader Sayed Hossen, the delegation from the Indian Ocean island country under the Enterprise Mauritius initiative, also seeks to expand its market to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
“The first exhibition was testing and ground breaking to introduce the Mauritius business community to Uganda. Most traders have been venturing into the Far East Markets where it takes two months to import a vessel notwithstanding pirates operating deep in the ocean,” said Mr Tindyebwa.
He added that traders should take advantage of the Mauritius free port services to quicken shipment of goods and also use Mauritius as an international sourcing centre that is more cost effective.
“We have products like raw milk in Uganda which is on high demand in Mauritius because these people depend on powdered milk …Ugandan traders should cash into this market,” said Frank Mwebaze the deputy country director TBDC.
Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde, is expected to open the two day exhibition at Imperial Royal hotel. Mauritius is a member of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa with a gross domestic product per capita of $14,000.
Jinja acquires Shs120b steel plant to boost local industry
By STEPHEN BWIRE
Posted Saturday, March 16 2013 at 02:00
Growth of local industries in Uganda is still very low, standing at 3.4 per cent. Unless tax waivers are offered and imported steel products banned, growth is likely to remain low.
Once regarded as the industrial heartbeat of Uganda, Jinja could have a new lease of life with the emergence of MM Integrated Steel Uganda Limited, one of the leading manufacturers of steel in the region.
The $47 million (Shs122 billion) plant is set to produce 50,000 metric tonnes of steel products a year including iron bars, iron sheets and storage tanks and directly employ 1,800 people.
The company has projected to invest $600 million in the next five years.
“The factory is no ordinary establishment. It’s large in all measure. It consumes 5 megawatts of power at over Shs210 million per month, tapped from the Madhvani feed to the national greed.
The three-Kilometre line was non-existent so MMI had to connect it. They use Shs10 million worth of water from National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and are currently employing 220 workers,” said the company CEO Mr Jain Narendra, at the tour of the plant recently. He appealed to government to reduce taxes and place a ban on the importation of steel products to lessen competition for the market.
“High power tariffs also affect the final product price yet we want to sell at a relatively cheaper price. 60 per cent of the manufactured products will be sold on the Ugandan market,” Narendra said.
The Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, who toured the factory, hailed the management of the company for rejuvenating economic activity in the area and the country `s development as a whole. “I would like to commend the proprietors of this steel mill for the contribution towards the economic development of our country and I hope that we as Ugandans shall gain more in terms of revenue collection and employment,” said the minister, adding that her ministry was in plans of drafting policies through the stake holder’s consultations to help local industries grow.
Ms Kyambadde admitted that growth of local industry was still very low at 3.4 per cent which is not healthy due to the high cost of utilities. She also promised to look into the issue of tax waivers and having a ban on the importation of steel products.
Coordinator for MMI in Uganda and presidential aide on media Farouk Kirunda, said access to iron sheets and other building materials will be readily accessible at cheaper prices upon the completion of the steel plant.
“Residents will access them in multiple colours and at factory price. People will come from as far as Western Kenyan because there is also no factory of this kind,” he said.
|March 24th, 2013, 04:32 PM||#1222|
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Massive effort needed to revive mining sector
Publish Date: Mar 24, 2013
By David Mugabe
Poor financial support to monitor and supervise the mining industry is costing the country billions in under-declared royalties and taxes, a senior mines inspector has said.
Gideon Amunyo, the inspector of mines in charge of western Uganda, says his office is meant to oversee the entire western region from Mbarara to Bundibugyo, but it does not have enough capacity to do so and revenue is being lost.
“A mere sh100,000 in fuel for an entire month is a drop in the ocean when you consider the amount of movement required in adequately supervising the mining activities in the area. As such, mining investors constantly under-declare their finds, which costs the state a lot in royalties and taxes,” Amunyo is quoted in a statement following a late February field excursion organised by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP).
The other impediment to a profitable extractive industry, according to Amunyo, is the low level of staffing and a failure to adapt international legal provisions that would safeguard the industry and further strengthen regional security needed for a stable industry.
Uganda is yet to adopt the Dodd Frank Law, a US legislation that aims to limit the trading of conflict minerals that have for long funded wars such as that in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
The “bag and tag” initiative requires US companies buying from a region rich in minerals to ensure their supply does not come from areas controlled by armed groups or corrupt soldiers. Since Uganda neighbours the DRC, it is important that it adopts the initiative, according to Amunyo, otherwise its minerals such as tin and wolfram (tungsten) will become unattractive.
“The delay to embrace the law has seen increased smuggling of minerals from Uganda to neighbouring Rwanda where the law is already in existence and, therefore, a guaranteed market. This means Uganda loses out on would be returns were the minerals to be sold legally,” he says.
The department of geological survey and mines is also poorly staffed and facilitated.
The excursion discovered that the Kirwa Wolfram Mine, located in Kisoro, is bogged down because of ownership wrangles, leaving the biggest and oldest mine to operate below full potential.
But there is some good news with Krone mines, which extract 30 tonnes per year despite applying rudimentary methods.
At Hima Cement in Kasese, a new eco-friendly plant plus additional deposits of raw materials have upped the company’s stakes in the last couple of years.
William Gumisiriza, the quarry manager, notes that Hima is well set for the next two or so decades as a result. Reliance on road transport, however, means costs in that regard will remain high.
“A working railway network linking western Uganda to the coast like it was in the past would of course serve us and other mining firms in the area well,” says Deis Twine, the production superintendent.
Though still run-down, Kilembe is fully facilitated and is awaiting a credible investor to resuscitate it.
Five companies have been shortlisted for the same and a winning bidder should be known by the end of the year.
Following the airborne geophysical survey data covering 80% of the country, Uganda is embarking on a serious exploration phase concentrating on areas that have obvious anomalies.
Catherine Wabomba, the geotechnical officer at UCMP, says the inaugural fact-finding trip has been an eye opener that puts in perspective the level of investment and commitment that is still required to push the mining industry forward.
UCMP intends to gather as much first-hand information as possible about the country’s mining operations which can reliably be used to attract investment into the sector.
Total to drill more wells in Nebbi
Publish Date: Mar 20, 2013
By Benedict Okethwengu
The Government is negotiating with Total E&P Uganda, to carry out more drilling in search of commercially-viable hydrocarbons in Nebbi district.
The state minister for finance, Fred Jachan Omach explained that President Museveni met with Total officials to discuss the drilling of more wells in other prospective sites in the district.
He added that the company is only waiting for their license to be renewed before they start to drill more wells.
“The President last week met Total officials and we are happy they promised to come and carry more tests and drilling. So, I ask the people of Nebbi to pray hard so that they can find oil deposits ” Omach said
He noted that the discovery of oil would boost the economy and improve the social welfare in the district.
He was speaking on over the weekend at fundraising ceremony that was to mobilise resources for the construction of Amor Chapel at Amor Village in Pakwach Town Council. Over sh15m was raised at the event.
Total E&P Uganda, the French oil company handling exploration and production of oil in Block 1 in the Albertine region, struck two dry wells in their first attempt to discover commercially-viable hydrocarbons in Nebbi district.
The Odyek-1 and Riwu-1 wells located in Panyimur and Alwi sub-county respectively were drilled in January after acquiring 2D seismic data, but no hydrocarbons were found.
Following the failed attempts, the company suspended plans to drill, Okuma- A, well in the same area as Riwu-1.
Ahlem Friga-Noy, the corporate affairs manager of Total E&P Uganda, noted that Total made a discovery in January, in Lyec 1, out of the five exploration wells drilled.
She said in an email that the discovery corresponds to the normal ratio for exploration. She added that as per February, 2, the license has expired and has not been renewed.
|April 30th, 2013, 11:17 PM||#1223|
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Uganda awards contract for 600-MW Ayago hydroelectric project
The Ugandan government has awarded a US$1.9 billion contract to Turkey's Mapa Construction Company for the construction of the 600-MW Ayago hydroelectric project.
A memorandum between the parties, signed this past week, is part of Uganda's efforts to fast-track development of its energy production.
"The most important thing in this project should be efficiency," Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said.
Sources said the project is to be developed in two phases, with the Ayago North to have an installed capacity of 350 MW and the Ayago South to have a capacity of 250 MW.
|May 8th, 2013, 07:14 PM||#1224|
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Wind, solar projects to add 250Mw to national grid
Publish Date: May 08, 2013
Ugandans in up country areas of Kasese, Soroti, Tororo, Mubende, Lira and Gomba will soon benefit from an additional 250megawatts (Mw) of electricity after the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) gives the nod to 11 wind and solar energy parks.
Mola Solar Systems Uganda has filed a notice of intended application for a license for generation and sale of electricity from solar and wind power parks in various parts of the country.
The company is yet to carry out feasibility studies leading to the development of a 20Mw solar power park in Kabulasoke, 10Mw in Lira, 20Mw in Nkenda, 50Mw in Nkonge and 50Mw in Opuyo.
Wind power parks planned for are 20Mw in Tororo, 10Mw in Nkenda, 15Mw in Nkonge, 5Mw at the banks of River Awoja, 20Mw in Kabulasoke and a 30Mw expansion in Tororo district.
Only 12% of 6.5 million households access electricity from the national grid, according to the Uganda National Household Survey report 2010.
Electricity demand is growing steadily at between 60Mw and 50Mw each year. The projects will ensure that supply and demand remain even.
ERA has issued statements inviting affected parties and local authorities in the affected areas to lodge objections before a go-ahead is given to the developers.
Tom Massa, a member of the electricity consumers committee of eastern Uganda, notes that the projects will ease the energy demand in the region.
Uganda is still experiencing one of the lowest electricity consumption per capita in the world currently at 75kWh per year. The current generation cannot support the medium-term government industrialisation plans, contributing to slow economic transformation.
Power demand is growing at 15% per annum. This means that every year, Uganda should be able to commission a 50Mw project online if we are to avoid reverting to loadshedding
The demand forecast was that the surplus energy Uganda is enjoying now will be consumed in the next 18 months before the undesired load-shedding returns.
The National Development Plan (NDP) clearly identifies limited generation capacity and corresponding limited transmission and distribution network among key constraints to the performance of the energy sector.
The NDP further set out increasing power generation capacity as the first objective to address the power shortage problem, and construction of larger hydropower plants as the first intervention strategy.
|May 11th, 2013, 04:45 PM||#1225|
Join Date: Sep 2009
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India gives Isimba dam $450m boost
FRIDAY, 03 MAY 2013 15:39 BY PETER NYANZI
State-owned Bharat Electricals Ltd scheduled to commission the new dam by 2017
The government of India will provide a $450 million (Shs 1.12 trillion) loan to finance the construction of the 140 MW Isimba hydro-power dam on the River Nile. The State- owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd has undertaken to construct the dam the project located in Kamuli District in Eastern Uganda.
On completion in 2017, the dam will be the fourth largest in the country. The Indian company will also participate in oil and gas exploration among other sectors including IT, agriculture, food processing, and security. The credit facility and cooperation in other areas were decided during bilateral talks with India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on his recent visit to Uganda.
It was agreed that India would help Uganda in e-governance, training and setting up IT institutions. It would also fast-track the setting up of the India-Africa Institute of Foreign Trade in Uganda and a food processing industry incubation centre.
During the visit, his first to Africa, Khurshid also had a meeting with 18 heads of Indian missions of the region and discussed new initiatives to bolster peace and development in the region. However, it’s the news on the development of the power dam that Ugandans will be most interested in, as they struggle to deal with the niggling power shortages and high power tariffs.
Hydropower contributes only 1% of Uganda’s energy supply, one of the lowest in the region – making Uganda’s electricity some of the most expensive in the region. Installed capacity stands at just 683 MW, with the recently launched Bujagali dam contributing 250MW, Nalubale 180MW, Kiira 200MW, while mini hydro dams contribute a combined total of about 53MW.
However, current hydro power generation stands at only 400-450MW - way below the national demand, which often leads to expensive power rationing and one of the lowest power access rates in on the continent. Analysts say over the years, the key energy challenge in Uganda has centered on lack of a mix of energy sources in power generation, inadequate infrastructure for generation, transmission and distribution.
The government has set an ambitious programme to set up flagship power projects such as Ayago (600MW), Orianga (400MW) as well as solar, thermal, micro hydro dams and co-generation from bagasse. Government projections show that if all the power projects in the pipeline are completed by 2017 as scheduled, the country could have installed capacity amounting to about 2,200 MW, which could go a long way towards addressing the development and industrializations concerns of the country.
In the last three years, the government has been keen on fast tracking the 600 MW Karuma Dam as a public project but it has been beset by incessant procurement problems. Since 2009, the government has also been keen to enlist a private entity to develop Isimba to boost power generation.
In March 2010, the government signed a $3.8 million contract with Fichtner of Germany and Norplan of Norway to do a feasibility study for the project, which is to be located downstream of the new 250MW Bujagali dam, and will include a 40KM transmission line to the new dam.
The study was completed in 2011 and the government has been on the lookout for a willing private investor to take over the construction of the dam. On paper, Bharat Electricals Ltd is appears to be a perfect fit for the project.
According to their website, the company says that as of June 2011, Bharat Electricals Ltd says it had cumulatively installed generating capacity of over 8,500 MW outside of India in 21 countries, including Malaysia, Iraq, UAE, Egypt and New Zealand. Additionally, the company had about 5,200 MW in 19 countries under various stages of execution.
The company’s international operations encompass a wide range of our power and industry segment products and services, including thermal, hydro and gas-based turnkey power projects among others. Uganda, an emerging oil and gas producer, has historically been home to multi-billion dollar private Indian investments.
Following the immense success of these investments, the government-owned parastatal is keen to venture into the processing and exploration of oil and gas, train oil professionals and invest in the country’s petrochemical industry. At the bilateral talks, the two countries agreed to boost bilateral trade and addressing the trade imbalance, which has historically remained in favour of India.
Two-way trade stands at $450 million, with India exporting goods worth $430 million in 2012. Uganda shipped goods worth $25 million to India during the same time.
|May 11th, 2013, 07:51 PM||#1226|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Likes (Received): 13
It seems all dams in Uganda are consistently expensive. Between $3 - $3.6 per watt. The Global average is around $2 per watt. Ethiopia is even building them cheaper than that. I think we all guess there must be massive kickback in there somewhere. I suspect this is someones slush fund. I also suspect the problem with Karuma dam is the Chinese did not give this kickback. It is the only quoted dam in Uganda which came to the correct price at $1.2 billion for 700MW. Makes you wonder!!
|May 13th, 2013, 02:15 PM||#1227|
Hustler 4rm kampala
Join Date: Jun 2009
Likes (Received): 16
dont u know uganda nawe, corruption everywhere
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