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Uganda Steel Rolling Mills to build a smelting plant in Jinja
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Saturday, 15 Jan 2011

It is reported that Uganda Steel Rolling Mills has embarked on the construction of an iron ore smelting plant in Jinja district that will start production by the end of 2011. The development means that Uganda will join the league of steel producing nations in the World. The plant will be the first of its kind in Uganda and the East and Central African region.

The foundation stone for the USD 13 million plant was laid by President Mr Yoweri Museveni during his recent campaign trail in the Busoga sub region.

Mr Abid Alam MD of the Alam Group of Companies said that the factory will produce approximately 150 tonnes of sponge iron per day at the time of its commissioning in October 2010. He added that production is expected to double to 300 tonnes per day in the second phase of the project.

He said that 150 direct jobs will be created at the completion of the project, and many other indirect ones will be opened up in the metal fabrication.

According to Mr Alam, the plant will initially use hematite iron ore abundantly available in the Kigezi region. He explained that it will later use the magnetite type of iron ore, which is available in other parts of the country.

He said that whereas the plant would initially use imported coal from South Africa to smelt the iron, this would be substituted at a later stage with natural gas locally available in Uganda. This will reduce the production costs and reduce the cost of the finished product.

Mr Museveni commended the Alam Group for the innovation that will add value to the iron ore resource that had remained unexploited in Uganda. Industrial analysts have predicted that the project will stimulate the economy.

Mr Vincent Ojambo general secretary of the Uganda Mines, Metal & Allied Workers Union said that "The abundant iron ore reserves assure Steel Rolling Mills of a constant availability of the raw material, which will enable the company increase its steel rolling capacity and guarantee the availability of steel products on the Ugandan market."

He noted that this would turn Uganda into a nucleus for the development of the steel industry in East and Central Africa. He added that "The East African region is planning a large number of projects such as railways, roads, ports and power generation. The demand for construction steel has generally gone up as the economies expand and public spending increases."

Meanwhile, Steel Rolling Mills is also in advanced stages of establishing a 20 MWs power plant that will generate power from steam driven turbines. The steam will be generated using waste from the sugar plant to be built adjacent to the iron plant. 6 MWs of power will be utilized in the sugar plant, whereas 13-14 megawatts will be used in the steel plant.

(Sourced from

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