Tough Investor Conditions Stall UGX735Bn Iron Ore Plant in Kigezi

Eng Sabiti (2nd L) Musasizi and Prossy Akampurira address the press on the stalled Iron-ore smelting Plant Project

Rubanda – Eng. Denis Sabiti Bamwoya, the Rubanda West Member of parliament has said that the tough conditions set by an investor set to establish a multi-billion Iron Ore Smelting plant in Rubanda district have delayed the project to kick off.

According to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, geological surveys conducted between 2006 and 2008 confirmed the existence of 250 million tons of Iron ore deposits in the Kigezi region pending extraction.

Available data indicates that Iron ore deposits were mostly discovered in Kanungu district, Bukimbiri (Kisoro), Muko, Nyamiringa and Nyamweru sub-counties (Rubanda) and Buhara Sub County (Kabale). The ore discovered in the Kigezi region is graded at 60 per cent iron.

In March 2019, Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and political leaders from Kigezi Sub-region led officials from Devki Group of Companies, a company that was authorised to establish a factory to inspect a 250-acre piece of public land located in Kabirizi, Kanyamatembe and Kishaki villages in Rubanda town council where the factory will be established.

Rubanda District Council endorsed this land win 2018 to pave the way for the plant valued at USD 200 million ( UGX735Bn).

The factory; a 2016 presidential pledge, failed to take off due to the tough conditions set by the investor.

An artistic impression of the proposed iron-ore smelting plant in Kigezi

Sabiti, says that the investor requested a high voltage power line with a minimum of 132KV that is not yet available in the region

“As leaders from Kigezi sub-region, they are waiting for the government to extend the power line to the area, it will also address power shortages,.

Another condition according to Sabiti that has made it hard for factory construction to commence is the lack of enough gas or coal in the country.

“We look forward to the gas pipeline that will be constructed from the Albertine region up to Tanzania. This pipeline will enable the country to get enough gas that can run this factory,” he said.

Sabiiti is optimistic that the government could solve the conditions in about two years and make the long-awaited promise possible.

“Once this factory is built, it will employ between 6,000 to 10,000 people which is a big advantage to the population that has been crying of unemployment,” he added.

Sabiiti said this on Monday while adressinga Press conference with other NRM leaders after a meeting that was aimed at planning for the forthcoming elections and the presidential visit on December 12.

Henry Musasizi, the Rubanda West Member of Parliament, urged residents to wait for the fulfilment of this pledge and also continue supporting the NRM party since it has citizens at heart.

“If you look at the NRM manifesto, you will bear with me that it is the only party that is focused on Ugandans welfare. We must support this party from the president to the ground level if we surely need development to occur,” he said.

Musasizi warned party members against supporting independent candidates which contravene the party interests.

“If you are NRM, you must be ready to support the party flag bearers without fail. NRM will definitely deal strongly with party members who will be found supporting other candidates apart from our own,” he said.

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Prossy Akampurira Begumisa, the Rubanda district Woman Member of Parliament said that party leaders will be moving in villages to campaign for the flag bearers and also to seek for community concerns that will be presented to the president during his campaign meeting.

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