The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Saad El Din Group, an Egyptian Company for the development of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) equipment and supply.
The MOU was signed by State Minister for Energy, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga on behalf of Uganda and Dr. Muhammed Saad Eldin on behalf of the group.
Dr Muhammed said the group is set to invest over USD 10m to set up a factory in Uganda that will manufacture gas cylinders.
“We are looking forward to manufacturing a total of 50, 000 cylinders every year, once we secure land, the cylinders will be on the market within 6 to 12 months and we shall be delivering them at every door step of the likely users,” Muhammed said.
On his part, Minister D’Ujanga welcomed the development, noting that this will do more in cutting the cost of gas cylinders which will in turn increase the uptake of renewable energy, particularly gas, in the country as compared to charcoal and firewood which has had a negative effect on the environment.
D’Ujanga noted that a total of 92,000 square kilometers of forest cover are destroyed every year due to charcoal burning and firewood.
“Currently, 15,500 tonnes of gas are imported in the country which is good because the consumption of gas has increased. It shows that we are now getting away from the forest, but we must facilitate the consumption by doing away with the major constraint which has been the high costs for cylinders,” D’Ujanga said.
The Minister of State for Minerals, Peter Lokeris noted that Saad El Din Group comes in at a time when the country needs to step up its environment protection mechanisms.
“We are witnessing a landmark which we can’t forget, Saad intends to make the cylinders, pump gas and sell to Ugandans. We have been importing gas cylinders already filled with gas and this has been so costly,” Lokeris said.
Lokeris added that the setting up of the cylinder plant will help cut off costs of transporting gas to Uganda and it will create jobs for Ugandans.
“The gas itself is clean, it doesn’t waste the environment and will save the health of Ugandans as well as saving the forests that are cut due to collecting firewood and charcoal,” Lokeris noted.