By Our Reporter
Hima Cement and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to supply 120,000 tons of cement to three mega infrastructure projects being carried out by the Chinese contractor in Uganda.
The three projects that Hima will supply cement are the Entebbe International Airport Expansion, Mubende-Kakumiro-Kagadi (MKK) Road Construction Project and the Soroti – Moroto Road Upgrade Project.
“Hima Cement clients benefit from the technical expertise and product innovation that are the hallmark of LafargeHolcim Group. This MoU is testament to our diverse product offerings and also avails solutions that fit the unique needs of our clients,” said Allan Ssemakula, the Commercial Director, Hima Cement.
Ssemakula said that being part of the LafargeHolcim Group gives the cement maker the competence and technical capacity needed to undertake infrastructure projects of any nature.
As per the MoU, Hima Cement will supply 30,000 tons of cement to the Entebbe Airport expansion project for five years, 60,000 for three years and 30,000 for three years for the MKK and Soroti-Moroto Road Projects respectively.
Ssemakula said the MoU paves way for further collaboration between Hima Cement and CCCC on future infrastructure development undertakings in the country.
“We established this partnership way back in 2013 and we have been the only cement supplier for the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway a project being undertaken by CCCC. We look forward to partnering in upcoming CCCC projects in Uganda, not only in the product segment, but also in Research and Development as well as Health and Safety aspects,” he added.
The upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport is a design and build project to be implemented in a phased approach under which Phase 1 will be implemented over a five Year period. The Mubende-Kakumiro-Kagadi (MKK) road project is a construction venture estimated to last at least three years with works already on-going.
Joseph Zheng Biao, the Acting Country Manager, CCCC Uganda, said at the MoU signing that CCCC’s collaboration with LafargeHolcim at a global level gave them the confidence that Hima Cement was the perfect local contractor to engage.
“Today, CCCC is delighted to sign a memorandum of understanding with Hima Cement, because it not only formalizes the positive working relationship that we have enjoyed over the years but also strengthens our local content agenda in this beautiful country. The agreement will enhance our collaborative partnership and will enable Hima Cement to supply key CCCC projects with up to around 120,000 tonnes of Cement,” he said.
The principal raw materials for the company’s construction projects are steel, cement, sand, ballast and asphalt.
“For our projects we ensure to source these from local suppliers in line and support of government’s effort of Buy Uganda, Build Uganda. Therefore, this MOU reaffirms CCCC’s commitment to local content which is a catalyst to job creation, better income and standards of living for citizens,” he added.
Hima Cement offers a range of innovative and high-performance products that are highly adaptable. The cement firm lends itself to all kinds of projects like the Bujagali Hydro Power Project, Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, Mandela Stadium, the new Jinja Nile Bridge among others.
Biao noted this MoU doesn’t lock out other cement manufacturers in the country capable of providing the required quality for the projects.
In a bid to propel the economy to middle income status by 2020, the Uganda government has prioritized infrastructure development as one of the drivers of economic growth. According to the Finance Ministry, this move will contribute to the attainment of the National Development Plan II objectives of improved accessibility to markets and social services, reduced transport costs to stimulate production, competitiveness, improved trade, industrial growth and job creation.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala