22 August 2006

Uganda: BIDCO to Build Bio-Diesel Plant

Kampala — BIDCO Refineries Limited is to establish a US$30m bio-diesel factory, the company's chief executive officer, Vimal Shah, has said.

Bio-diesel is produced from renewable sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oils. It can be used in its neat form or blended with petroleum diesel for use in diesel engines.

The President also held a meeting with a team from the London-based Comer Homes Group, which specialises in building ultra-modern satellite cities.

On Monday, President Yoweri Museveni held a meeting with BIDCO officials led by Shah, during which he was also briefed on the progress of the palm plantation in Kalangala district and the vegetable oil plant in Jinja.

"The President welcomed the investment proposal and assured the delegation that the government would provide incentives such as tax exemptions to encourage the production of bio-diesel.

"He noted with happiness that Uganda was becoming a permanent producer of oil in general and bio-diesel in particular," a statement from State House said yesterday.

Museveni also informed the delegation that the government would centralise the issuing of investment permits in the Uganda Investment Authority to ease investment processes.

BIDCO employs over 5,000 Ugandans and has invested over US$45m (about sh83b) in a project that produces about $20m worth of palm oil per year.

The firm commissioned a $140m plantation on Bugala Island in Kalangala and opened a $25m refinery in Jinja in 2005.

Last year, Museveni directed that four of the forest reserves on Bugala Island in Kalangala be used to cultivate palm trees.

BIDCO had complained that the land they had been offered on the mainland had sandy soils and was also unsuitable for palm trees due to poor rainfall.

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