By David Muwanga
UGANDA Clays has commissioned a $15m (about sh32b) factory in Kamonkoli in Budaka district.
â€œThe opening of our second factory will increase roofing tiles output from six million per year in the first phase to 18 million after the final phase in 2011,â€ John Wafula, the chief executive officer, said.
â€œThe output of facing bricks will rise from five million to 10 million this year. It will rise to 15 million in 2010,â€ he told a press conference at the factoryâ€™s premise in Kamonkoli over the weekend, adding that they would be employing over 200 people by the end of this year.
Wafula said the firm would not be hit by the global financial crisis because it was export-oriented.
â€œThe credit crunch has reduced peopleâ€™s purchasing power. But being an export-oriented company, shall give us an opportunity to balance the losses.â€
He said the firm was already exporting its products to Rwanda and southern Sudan.
â€œOur new plan includes opening up more plants in the northern and western parts of the country. However, this will materialise after we have paid our debt with banks amounting to about $10m,â€ he said.
The companyâ€™s production manager Cosmas Olwoch told journalists that the factory which is semi-automated and designed to recycle energy through an internal system will cut down on the drying time of the products.
He however said that the tiles production line is not ready since they have to synchronize the whole system from the starting up to the end of the whole process.
â€œThis factory is under warranty and two weeks after the Easter holidays we shall have a team from Italy who are to complete the installation and be the end of April it must be operational,â€ he said.