New Hima Cement Plant; a timely delivery- Museveni
7th January, 2011. The New Hima Cement plant that will boost capacity with a state of the art Technology has been officially opened today by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda. While on his campaign trail in the western part of Uganda, the president, who also presided over the ground breaking of the plant in October 2007, lauded Hima Cement for the completion of the plant in good time, as promised.
Speaking during the event, Chairman Hima Cement, Hussein Mansi said that in spite of the investment, the industry still faced challenges mainly from high cost of production occasioned by high energy tariffs and transportation. He decried the un-level playing ground occasioned by the suspension of the Common External Tariff (CET) which the EA States effected in 2009 as a temporary measure to mitigate growing domestic demand against limited local capacity.
“The new Hima Cement Factory is an indication that local manufacturers are committed to increasing capacity to meet growing demand but we are faced with competition from imports from markets that are usually subsidized by their government in spite of lower production costs”
“It is clear that if we have similar cost base, the local industry would compete effectively with imports but as it is, the playing ground favors imports and that is why we believe the CET of 35% should be reinstated especially because the local manufacturers have invested in increased capacity” he said.
While speaking at the ceremony, His Excellency Museveni, said that he has noted all the problems Hima Cement has mentioned. “The power problem will be no more in 2012 after the Bujagali project is completed”. He also promised to engage the Minister of Transport in the completion of the Kamwenge-Dura-Rwimi road, which is critical for the operations of Hima Cement and road safety.
The new Hima Cement factory which started operations in July last year, created Over 500 jobs for locals during construction and about 100 permanent jobs with its commissioning. This does not include additional indirect employment created. Stull said that the plant employs the latest technology that guarantees consistent product quality and especially prioritizes safety for both plant and human capital.
“The new technology will ensure minimal emissions consistent with international standards which build on our already existing programmes of environmental conservation and protection”.
Hima Cement has planted over 1 million trees under its Greens Schools and Quarry Rehabilitation Programmes in Kasese , Kamwenge and other parts of the country. The company also has community intervention programmes in health and sanitation, education and shelter. “Our community investment policy is aimed at creating a sustainable co-existence with the community where we operate” said Hussein.