As we end 2017, Ugandans in long walk are growing more and more anxious about the prospects of oil production anticipated to begin by 2020.
But Namanve-based Roofings Rolling Mills (RRM) is positioning itself for the emerging opportunities ripe in the Oil and Gas sector, the country made a step closer to joining a league of oil producing countries.
Roofings on 21st November 2017 hosted the Energy Industry Council (EIC) Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Uganda from the British High Commission.
The plant spearheaded the display of manufacturing and construction muscle in a guided tour around the factory by RRM board members and management.
The delegation from the Energy Industrial Council were led by Lord Popat of Harrow who is the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda alongside delegates from DIT Oil and Gas (Phil Haymes), Hydro Plan UK (Kieron Hanson), Rockwell Automation (Trevor Wren) and ABB Ltd (Nigel Greatorex) amongst others.
Lord Popat is a Conservative Peer, Party Whip and was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda and Rwanda in January 2016. He was made a Peer by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 for his services to small businesses. His interests in the House of Lords are SMEs, increasing Britain’s exports and trade relations with India and Africa and was actually born in Uganda.
Lord Popat mentioned their intentions of building an estimated 310million pounds new international airport in Kibale Hoima where oil and gas extraction is. More effort will also be focused on the Soroti Flying School to equip more Ugandans with aircraft knowledge.
He is very much looking forward to the challenge of increasing trade and investment ties between the UK and both Uganda – his home country – and Rwanda, two high-potential markets in East Africa. He regularly meets with business organisations and entrepreneurs from across the country and is determined to encourage the next generation of businesses in the UK to think globally.
“Our trained and capable human resource, state-of-the-art machinery, periodic market research coupled with our continuous need to grow beyond East Africa- re-affirms our firm stand and purpose. To meet the international requirements of standard and consistency in supply for markets like Europe and the United States, we are ably proficient to meet their need,” Lalani emphasized.
Roofings Group Uganda believes that they have the potential to supply construction materials that are needed in Hoima for the oil and gas extraction and processing because their brand has been tasted and has worked well on several big government projects like the construction of Karuma Dam on River Nile, the ongoing construction of the new Jinja bridge, the construction of the Entebbe Express High way and the renovation of the International Airport at Entebbe.
Last year, government passed local content policy and there was no need to import raw materials from China to supply big projects in Uganda. “Roofings is one of the industries with good materials and will be given a tender to supply the standard gauge railway and other big projects,” revealed Mr Hebert Kabafuzaki, former minister of State for Labour and Employment Affairs.
Roofings Limited executive director Oliver Lalani says their products like AZED iron sheets are made in Uganda and are five times stronger than the ordinary products on the market.
2020: Although some industry players think 2020 is a very unrealistic year for Uganda to start producing oil as projected by government, president Museveni maintains that Uganda will surely be producing oil by 2020.