By: Stephen Otage
Kampala: The C.C.L.E rubber company, set to commence domestic production in March, will be employing more than 700 people, a company official has revealed
Speaking last week in Kampala, Mr Chen Fan, the managing director, said they are waiting for one of the key machines which is already enroute to Uganda and once it arrives by end of this month, the installation will be done next month and production begins in March.
He said more than half of the employees are Ugandans because of the need to have local managers who understand the local market.
Mr Chen was receiving 20 Ugandan youth who had been undergoing a six-month Tyre engineering training course in China.
“This batch is the first to acquire Tyre engineering skills in East, Central and Southern Africa,” he said.
“We have so far invested $25million (about Shs62 billion) in the factory and we shall begin production with three million motorcycle tyres, tubes and lubricants,” he added, saying initially, the raw materials will be imported before the factory can establish rubber tree plantations in the country.
The tyre company which was commissioned in Mbabala last year, will be producing motorcycle tyres.
According to State Minister for investment Gabriel Ajedra Aridru, Uganda will be the first country in East, Central and sub Saharan Africa to start producing tyres which will save the country millions of dollars in imports to offset the balance of trade.
“When I met these investors, initially they wanted to build this factory in Mombasa but I said look, since your market is the East African community, why don’t you build it in Uganda since Uganda is the bridge to all these countries,” he said adding that the establishment of the factory here, will be saving the hard earned foreign exchange in millions which was previously used to import the tyres.
He assured the investors that government will ensure that there is steady power supply so that production is not disrupted.
Asked why they chose to build a new factory rather than improve on Dunlop which was initially in Jinja, the minister said the technology there was obsolete.