$40 million investment set to increase Hima Cement Capacity
Hima Cement has today broken ground on the construction of a $40 million Grinding Station in Tororo with the plant scheduled to commence production in Q1 2018.
On completion, the new plant will increase Hima Cement's capacity from the current 0.9million Metric Tons to 1.9 million Metric Tonsper year. The project is also expected to create hundreds of jobs,directly and indirectly through the supply chain.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony at the new site at Nyakesi-Rubongi along the Tororo-Mbale Highway, Daniel Pettersson, the Country CEO forHima Cement disclosed that the Grinding Station is part of thebuilding solutions company'sstrategic investments and it will help to secure supply for the ever increasing demand for cement not only within Uganda but the regional market as well.
"The construction sector in Uganda is rebounding as shown by the sustained increase in demand for cement; currently at 10% per year. This is an opportunity to continue to serve our customers in this growing market," Pettersson said.
In 2010, Hima invested $120 million in the Rwenzori Project, installing the state-of-the-art, environment-friendly cement production line at its Hima Plant that increased production capacity to 0.9 Mt per annum.
Hima Cement is also in the final stages of exploration for a limestone position in Moroto to support a future clinker plant.
According to Pettersson, these investments highlight the LafargeHolcim Group's confidence that the long term outlook for the sector in Uganda and the East African region will remain positive.
"We are also committed to developing local talent; the Hima Plant in Kasese is managed by a Ugandan team; from Production Manager, Quality Manager to the Maintenance Manager. Health and Safety is at the forefront of all we do. We look forward to working closely with the community in Tororo through our various programs in Education, Health and Safety and environment," he added.
The new cement plant in Tororo will be constructed by CBMI Construction Company Limited,which constructed the Rwenzori line at Hima Plant in 2010.
Officiating at the ceremony, Hon. Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Minerals lauded Hima Cement for its continued investments that have over the years helped promote local content as well as value addition to the mining sector.
"The political leadership in Uganda is unequivocally committed to industrialization, economic transformation, modernization and diversification of production. As a reflection of this, the NRM Government considers the construction and infrastructure space one of its overriding and critical priorities. We are proud to see investors such as Hima Cement supporting major infrastructure projects of this country. Your expansion to Tororo will also be instrumental in opening up the mining sector and attracting more investors to bring about social and economic transformation to our people," he stated.
He also noted that increased cement is vital in the completion of large infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and power dams that are aimed at bringing down costs of business and improving the global competitiveness of the Ugandan business climate.
Micheal Werikhe Gafabusa, the state minister for industrialization noted that the expansion of Hima Cement will not only increase cement production but also bring down prices.
He pointed out that cheaper cement is vital for improvement of the general standards of living in Uganda. "In this ‘Kisanja hakuna Mchezo', government aims to decrease exportation of raw materials and instead promote value addition of local resources. We therefore welcome the local production of clinker and cement," he stated.
At the same event, Hima Cement handed over two boreholes to the community residing around the new cement factory site. This is aimed at helping the community access clean and safe water.
"As Hima Cement, everything that we do is centered on keeping our people safe. We know that access to clean and safe water is one of the catalysts for development in any community. These boreholes are therefore a starting point towards keeping our communities safe," Pettersson stated.