Wakiso District, in the Central Region of Uganda, is set to be home to a new mega pole production plant in the next one or two years. This is according to Paul Mwesigwa, the managing director for the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL).
Speaking on the sidelines of the National Planning Authority (NPA) technical team’s visit to the company’s pole plant in Lugogo, Kampala, Mr. Mwesigwa, said that all the approvals for the implementation of the project have been attained including architectural designs and environmental impact assessments and that they are currently seeking US $3.1M to fund the actual construction works.
He further explained that they intend to borrow 70% of the above-mentioned amount from the Uganda Development Bank while the rest will come from the company’s savings.
The new mega pole production plant will be built on 75 acres piece of land at Kyampisi, Namayumba Town Council and it will feature a concrete pole plant, a creosote pole plant, and a CCA pole plant.
The project is part of the UEDCL’s strategic plan 2020/2021-2024/2025 that corresponds to the National Development Plan III (2020/21-2024/2025) that also strives to fill the electricity supply gap across the East African country.
It comes at a time when the current plant is producing 25,000 poles a year against the market demand of 270,000. The deficit, according to Jonan Kiiza, the senior corporate affairs and public relations officer at UEDCL is filled by supply from private plants that have quality challenges.
Supply of trees
UEDCL has set aside 30 acres of land to plant eucalyptus trees and secured a PPDA accreditation to allow registered local youth groups to plant, maintain, and handover one-year-old forests.
Mr. Mwesigwa said the government’s Operation Wealth Creation program could take advantage of the through the provision of seedlings to farmers that are likely to supply trees to the project as they mature and this will promote social-economic transformation.