President Museveni launches Sukuru Phosphate Project

Monday 18th August 2014

President Yoweri Museveni yesterday launched the construction of Sukuru Phosphate Project in Tororo district with an appeal to the people of the area to take advantage of the factory to produce more food that they can sell to a big population that will be working in the factory.

“I am glad to come here to start the construction of this project; you people of Tororo will get jobs. You can grow more food and sell some to the workers. If I was here, I would get rich because I would sell my milk to the workers and earn money”, he observed.

The US$620 plant, will have a complex of factories that will have an annual production of 300,000 tons from the phosphates plant, 300,000 tons from the steel plant, 200,000 tons from the sulphuric acid plant, 100,000 tons from the Rare Earth factory, 300,000 tons of gypsum from the gypsum plant as well as generating a 12-MW of electricity from the waste heat power generation plant.

The plant is expected to start production in December 2016 and will employ more than 1,200 Ugandans. The mineral deposits at Sukuru Phosphate Project are expected to last over 100 years and will generate an annual turnover of US$350 million.

President Museveni on arrival yesterday performed the ceremony of ground breaking together with the President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group (U) Co. Ltd, Mr. Weidong, for the construction of Sukuru Phosphate Project and had a brief view at the machinery to be used.

President Museveni later addressed a huge gathering at nearby Sukuru Primary School play grounds and explained to wanainchi that government some years ago, spent over US$40 million for the exploration of minerals in the country in the geological survey exercise. He said a lot of minerals that belong to the state were discovered and will be used for strengthening durable infrastructure as well as enhance education.

He added that once minerals are exhausted, another source of wealth, which is intellect, is used. He cited the example of Japan that does not have minerals but uses intellect to create wealth by manufacturing vehicles, among other products.

President Museveni, therefore, congratulated the Chinese group for having overcome all hurdles that were threatening the start of the construction. He also called on Ugandans to stop wasting time on non-issues and frustrating investors who come to the country to help us build our capacity.

“I would like to congratulate these investors. They did what they told me within a short time. They will bring us other investors. These people have built a lot of capacity. They can help us also build our capacity," he said.

At the same function, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi noted that phosphates offer Uganda opportunities, especially in the agricultural sector that today stands at only 30% total output. He described the ceremony as a defining moment for agriculture in Uganda that should trigger production.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Engineer Irene Muloni, said the occasion was a great achievement for Uganda as the phosphates resource, that was discovered in 1954, had not been exploited until recently in 2013.

The President of Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group (U) Co. Ltd, Mr. Weidong congratulated Uganda upon the take off of the project and commended President Museveni and the Parliament of Uganda for the continued support to the project.

He pledged his group’s commitment to complete the project on record time which, he said, will cement further the cordial relationship between China and Uganda.

President Museveni also commissioned a mineral bottle company ‘Hudor Mineral Water’ in the centre of Tororo Town where he was taken on conducted tour of the facility by its proprietor, Hon. Sanjay Tanna, who is MP for Tororo Municipality. The factory outs 10,000 bottles of mineral water of half a litre each daily.

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