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China's energy group helps resolve Uganda's unemployment problem

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

06-04-2018 14:09 BJT


By Timothy Sibasi-freelance at Juka Africa Agency, Kampala Uganda

The Chinese energy firm, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Company Limited has concluded its first recruitment program, hiring over 300 Ugandan field workers to start laboring at an industrial complex under construction. The complex will include a phosphate fertilizer factory, a steel manufacturing factory, a Sulphuric acid manufacturing factory, a rare earth minerals mining plant, and Osukuru Thermal Power Station with capacity generation of 12 megawatts.

The Ugandan laborers will occupy 92 jobs that were advertised last March this year comprising of welders, storekeepers, drivers, security guards and supervisors. The industrial complex is projected to occupy 26.5 square kilometres and will support over 1,700 jobs once completed.

The recruitment was conducted in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding that Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group signed with the Ugandan government that calls for hiring people from the Tororo District first. Under the MoU, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group can only conduct recruitment outside the District of Tororo if the desired skills or expertise are lacking in that particular region.

According to the state minister for Energy, Peter Lokeris, the Ugandan government started negotiations with Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Company Limited from China to set up a mining and manufacturing operations at Osukuru in 2013.

"In 2014, the government and landowners agreed the exploration and construction to begin," said Lokeris.

Nevertheless, before coming on board with Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Company Limited from China, the Uganda government had started talks in 2008 with several investors, including a local firm called Nilefos Limited, which is a subsidiary of the Madhvani Group.

Upon completion, the project is estimated to cost Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Company Limited between US$560 million to US$620 million. Whereas the project is jointly owned by the Uganda government and Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Company Ltd., a private Chinese company.

There had been financial setbacks in securing financiers to bankroll the project since 2014; this in part delayed commissioning of the project that was scheduled to launch in 2016.

But at the tail end of 2015, the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) closed the deal to fund the project. In February 2016, developers had reached a financial closure with ICBC for a loan worth US$240 million and construction had commenced with the 23rd Metallurgical Construction Group Company Limited.

(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )


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