Uganda’s $37m ethanol plant to start production in 2016

Ugandan company, Kakira Sugar Works Ltd. says it will start commercial production at its $36.6 million ethanol plant by the end of July 2016.

The company has started mechanical installation at the plant that is being fitted with a daily capacity of 6,000 liters (1,585 gallons), according to Kenneth Musinga Barungi, an assistant to the general manager of the Kakira-based company, in an e-mail to Bloomberg. With the pace at which the work is going, the plant is expected to be ready by June 30. Trial runs will then follow, before production starts officially. The facility should be ready for commissioning by September.

Kakira, a unit of Madhvani Group, had in January contracted India-based Praj Industries Ltd. to build the distillery. The plant will use 74,000 metric tons of molasses annually, which will yield 2 million liters of ethanol a year, Barungi said.

He added that the power to run the distillery will initially be drawn from the sugar plant. But the distillery will later become self- sufficient, using steam for generation.

Africa fuel ethanol production map EIA/Indexmundi
Africa fuel ethanol production map

Uganda plans to enforce that biofuels comprise as much as 20 percent of oil products once it starts crude output, Information Minister Jim Muhwezi said in June. The East African nation is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol — a legally binding agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5 percent on 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The Protocol has been extended to 2020, with the target upped to 18 percent carbon cuts. To achieve this, every country must blend a certain percentage of biofuels with gasoline to reduce carbon emission.

London-based Tullow Oil Plc, China National Offshore Oil Corp. and France’s Total SA are jointly developing Uganda’s crude finds of 6.5 billion barrels of oil resources. Production may start in 2018, according to the Ugandan government.