Gov’t Hails Tembo Steels Proprietors for Maintaining the Primary Steel Producer Status, Quality Products

Mr. Sanjay Awasthi the Chairman / Managing Director (MD) Tembo Steels (U) Ltd ,Mr. Manish Kalla - General Manager with officials from UIA
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Gov’t Hails Tembo Steels Proprietors for Maintaining the Primary Steel Producer Status, Quality Products

By Namutebi Sumayiya & Brian Musaasizi

The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda’s primary Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) responsible for coordinating, encouraging, promoting and facilitating investment in Uganda has commended Tembo Steels (U) Ltd, Africa’s most varied & Integrated Steel Plant for playing a principal role value addition and innovation in the Steel sector.

Mr. Sanjay Awasthi the Chairman / Managing Director (MD) Tembo Steels (U) Ltd ,Mr. Manish Kalla – General Manager with officials from UIA

Ms. Hope Waira, a Senior Investment Executive from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) says Tembo steels has played a critical role in value addition using natural resources from Uganda to produce steels products which has not only spurred employment , but export earnings for the country ,social corporate responsibility , revenue for government through taxes among other realization for the country.

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‘’Tembo Steels is constantly in progress due to their innovation and quality products. We are glad as UIA that there is an investment like Tembo Steel on ground because they have done so much using our natural resources like Muko Iron from Kabale .As UIA we pledge our support to Tembo Steels and we believe that the products that come out of this company contribute a lot to this company ‘’, Waira noted that Tembo’s multi-billion investments shows investor confidence in Uganda.

Mr. Sanjay Awasthi the Chairman / Managing Director (MD) Tembo Steels (U) Ltd ,Mr. Manish Kalla – General Manager with officials from UIA Waira made the remarks during a guided tour at Tembo Steels to evaluate the investor’s success story at their two plants in Iganga and Lugazi in Buikwe on June 7th 2024.

Ms Prossy Kikabi , Senior Investment Executive in charge Business development at UIA highlighted the policies and  proper regulatory environments that are enabling investors access regional markets like Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East Africa , African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO).

Tembo Steels Iganga Plant

‘’ We are signatories to various protocols on investments that enable and guide investing in these destinations. We closely follow the discussions and negotiations around trading in all those markets.  What we need to focus on now is to identify which countries require our kind of products like steel and intentionally negotiate access in terms of infrastructure like road network, air and railway’’, said Kikabi, adding that an  African infrastructure map is being developed to ease trade in all these African markets.

Workers at Tembo Steels Iganga Plant

She added that Uganda is endowed naturally; highlighting Tembo steels one of the leading firms in quality steel production. Tembo is a primary steel production making it one of the leading global steel plants.

‘’ Definitely that makes us a good investment destination. We have good policies and regulations which have attracted investors. We are strategically located and we can supply all the other counties because we are linked to various markets in the region. Uganda is a very secure country compared to the region. Tembo has been here for over 20 years and they have been secure, all these amenities promote investment’’, added Kikabi.

Manish Kalla – General Manager with officials from UIA

Mr. Sanjay Awasthi the Chairman / Managing Director (MD) ​ Tembo Steels (U) Ltd revealed that they are the global leading diversified steel product company because of 100% value addition.

Awasthi noted that the company produces economical and efficient steel through backward and forward integration with a product portfolio that caters to markets across the steel value chain.

Manish Kalla – General Manager with officials from UIA

‘’We believe in import substation and we don’t import anything in the name of raw material. Whatever we produce it is 100% from Uganda and there is no foreign element as far as steel making is concerned at Tembo. We start from zero to 100 and we sell our steel to distributors, our job is to manufacture goods from zero to 100 % and contribute to import substitution, which is a government agenda. We have never imported anything like raw materials ‘’, said Mr Awasthi.

On their exceptional quality, Mr Awasthi emphasized that their main agenda is to remain the leading quality steel manufacturer and this is the reason they have always surpassed the international quality standards.

Awasthi, who has lived in Uganda for decades and visited over 67 countries says Uganda is a home to which one will always live in and due to the country’s multi amenities; he says it’s a beautiful investment destination exceeding many countries around the globe.

He said although beginning is always difficult, when you’re committed and work with the country, success is foreseeable in your investment.

‘’Tembo steel is not a business identity, its engineering identity and we believe in skill development. We are hinged on primary steel production. When you import steel which is not developed you labour to develop the country that’s why we are a primary steel maker. We employ 3000 but if you add those indirectly employed it’s about 10,000. Since we started the Iganga plant in 2004 I can proudly say that part of the town belongs to Tembo steel and the same goes with Lugazi. When you have an industry it develops and it’s always good for a community. We have contributed to the communities’’, added Awasthi.

About policies, Awasthi commended the Ugandan government for supporting value addition , and urged other investors to invest in Uganda , where he said society is supportive and an investor becomes part of it.

‘’I don’t consider myself as an Indian, I consider myself as a Ugandan. Am proud we are doing import substation and whatever we produce is from Ugandan raw material. We are here to promote primary steel production and technology transfer is impacting the young people, we are a real Bubu project’’, added Awasthi.

Mr. Manish Kalla – General Manager Tembo Steel Limited, emphasized that they are  promoting BUBU by being the only primary steel manufacturer , which is part of the President’s call on import substitution.

Tembo endeavors to strengthen Uganda’s industrial base by aiding infrastructural development, through sustainable development approaches and inclusive growth. It deploys its resources to improve infrastructure, education, health, water, sanitation, environment and so on in the areas it operates in and won several awards for its innovative business and social practices.

Tembo has always committed to protect and improve the environment and abide by the laws and regulations concerning the same and it guaranteed to work towards environment protection, prevention of environmental pollution and environment improvement  around their business units, adopt sound environment management practices to achieve sustainable growth, Implement systems to deal with environmental issues, thereby ensuring compliance and reporting, Evaluating effectiveness of system through regular audits and management reviews and Continual improvement in their environmental performance.

Uganda is one of the few African countries rich in mineral resource deposits, including Gold, Uranium, Iron ore, Limestone, Marble, Copper, Cobalt, Phosphate, and Lithium. Additional exploration projects for gold reserves with promising results continue in the Buhweju, Mubende, Namayingo, Karamoja, Kisoro, and Zombo districts.

Uganda’s steel production (for both domestic and export markets) currently stands at an estimated 585,000 tonnes per annum, that is, 35 percent of installed capacity. Of these, 210,000 tonnes is liquid steel production, which is mainly produced through scrap smelting in the induction furnaces.

Uganda confirmed iron ore deposits of over 500 million tonnes. These include Hematite iron ore found in Muko in Kabale and Kisoro districts of southwestern Uganda, and magnetite iron ore in Sukulu and Bukusu in Tororo District in eastern Uganda.

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