East African country, Uganda opens a $200 million Iron Ore Smelting plant. The factory, Tembo Steel, located in Iganga, somewhere in the Eastern region of Uganda will produce nothing less than 1.2 million tones of metal on a yearly basis.
The new plant is created for the purpose of helping the East African region in decreasing the level with which it relies on materials such as billet and scrap metals for the production of raw materials.
Sanjay Awasthi, Chairman of Tembo Steel stated that, “this is East Africa’s largest integrated steel mill with forward to backward integration of steel.”
Interestingly, the opening of the plant could be said to be at the right time as Uganda has banned its citizen from selling any form of scrap metal. This ban was done in a bid to reduce the high level of vandalism of public property such as CCTV cameras among others. Before Uganda’s ban, their neighbor, Kenya had already banned the sale of scrap metal as well.
According to reports, the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Tanzania have been the major providers of cast iron to Uganda but unfortunately, iron ore is becoming scarce in these countries.
With the factory in place, there will be an increased volume of the production of iron ore which will eventually lead to its export to other countries such as Democratic republic of Congo, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan.
More deposits of iron ore which will lead to more production is said to be in other places such as in Kisoro, Sukulu, Bukuso and Muko.
Uganda, who before now spends over $360 million in a year on the importation of steel, can now produce about 585,000 tonnes locally of which 210,000 tonnes is liquid steel production