By John Odyek
TORORO - Government is set to launch the long awaited US$560m (sh1.5trilion) Sukulu Phosphates project in Tororo district in Eastern Uganda.
The project is intended to produce fertilisers to meet the country’s dire needs.
According to experts the plant can meet the entire fertiliser needs for the region for such a large amount of phosphate deposit and the required foreign direct investment needed to deliver the project.
President Yoweri Museveni is scheduled to perform the ground breaking for the plant expected to generate over 1,000 thousands of jobs on Monday, according to ministry of energy officials.
Government partnered with a Chinese firm to develop the project. Museveni is expected to clear the air about compensation for land disputes that has lately dogged the project.
President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group, LV Weidong, said the company intends to produce 300,000 tonnes of phosphate fertilisers, 300,000 tonnes of steel, establish a sulfuric acid plant with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes annually. They plan to build a 5MW power plant in the area.
President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group, LV Weidong
Tororo County MP Geoffrey Ekanya said the people of Tororo hope that the project will transform their livelihoods.
“As I speak now, the Chinese investor is already in direct negotiations with the people. Residents are being compensated and willingly relocating to other areas to pave way for the project,” he said.
Ekanya said the company is also constructing houses for the residents as a way of compensation.
The company received funds from the China Africa Fund and China Development Bank to implement the project of using the large Tororo phosphate reserve.
President Museveni has thanked the company for choosing Uganda and pledged government support for the successful implementation of the project.
“The phosphate deposits in Tororo, if linked with the natural gas deposits in Tanzania, would enable the region to forget about the importation of fertilisers,” Museveni said.