Just In: UDC To Fund 50% Of US$150 Million Cement, Marble Factory In Karamoja

Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), an Investment arm of the Government of Uganda will fund half of US$150 million for the setting up of a cement and marble factory in Moroto, Karamoja region.

Dr. Patrick Birungi confirmed a commitment to fund the project.

He said UDC will contribute 50% of the total cost while the rest will be funded by partners – Saboo Group and Savannah.

Explaining the activity, he said: “These activities are in two parts. The first one is here in Loyoro and this is an exploration part,” he said during a visit to Luyoro on Thursday. “This is not the beginning. We started a long time ago. Thus all areas have been marked and there are a number of holes to be drilled here. At the moment, 13 holes have been marked and so far, we are on hole number 5 out of 13 holes. So far, 4 out of 5 holes have shown great prospects. One of them goes as far as 50 meters down and we have not yet gone to other marked areas and so we think that the potential is much more.”

Dr. Birungi says an assessment by officials from the Department of Geology at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development shows that one of the holes can sustain an exploration phase for over 20 years.

He adds that: “The second activity is in Moroto where we secure land from the district local government. These are 221 acres. In return, they (district) take shares (amount of shares will be determined in a near future. This land has a title deed, which deed is already in our hands. “

Dr. Birungi says that there are 3 total production lines which he says include cement, lime and Mable.

Responding to the question of how soon the project will take off, Dr. Birungi says that the Corporation is concluding on the paperwork this Financial Year.

After, he says there will be an investment phase in the Financial Year 2022/2023, a phase he says will take 3 years.

“We agreed that the financial year should be paperwork. Beyond that should be the investment phase. We think the investment phase will take 3 years both here and in Moroto,” he says.

Investment welcomed

Meanwhile, Karamoja has welcomed the project.

Already, 221 acres of land has been allocated at Nadunget. Dr. Birungi says UDC has already secured a title deed. The land is a contribution from Moroto district local government. David Pulkol, a representative of the district says that Moroto DLG will in return get shares which according to Dr. Birungi will be allocated at an appropriate time.

As for the locals, they have been compensated to a tune of Shs 500 million, according to an investor, Cornerlius Kodet Lorika of Savannah Group.

But on top of this, when the factory starts making revenue, the 150 families will get 5% revenue from Moroto DLG.

Pulkol says that Ateker Cement Factory will be the first factory in Karamoja.

When complete, the factory is expected to employ thousands of workers, locals inclusive while 150 families (squatters) have been catered for. The project also comes with good road network, security, school, hospital and employment.

Pulkol says that with the factory, locals will be part and parcel of development and the economy.

During a meeting at Nadunget on Wednesday, locals, however, raised compensation claims but Kodet Lorika, the locals were squatters on the district land measuring 221 acres.

He, however, clarified that in as much as the locals were squatters, they have been compensated to a tune of Shs 500 million.

The project currently in the paperwork stage is expected to have its investment phase kick off in the next Financial Year.

Abura Samuel Pirir, an elder in the area while speaking in a community engagement meeting on Wednesday before UDC officials and Investors on Wednesday at Nadunget in Moroto district welcomed the project.

“We welcome this project with both hands,” he said.

Peter Aimat Lokeris, the State Minister in Charge Minerals, says that the project has come in a good way.

“I am happy for the agreement which allows for sharing of profits and this is a life-long term. This is like milking a cow forever. This is an opportunity for you. Take your children to school so that they can come back and work in this factory,” he said.

Lokeris says that the factory has united Moroto and Kaboong. This is because raw materials will be picked from Kaboong and driven to the factory.

UDC’s partners Saboo Engineering and Savannah Group say they are ready for the project now that Mable has been confirmed to be in plenty in the region.

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