Chinese investors and other stakeholders at a previous meeting [File | ©Gurtong]
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 28 May 2012 (Gurtong) – The plant will be built by the Chinese Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC) which will also exploit the cement deposits in the area.
The Director of Industrial Promotion, Development and Control in the National Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Vermo Oduho Mamur Mete revealed that the company has already conducted feasibility studies in the area.
“The CMEC has expressed its formal interest to continue exploring and developing the existing cement in Kapoeta region of the state for large investment.
Mete led a delegation comprising four Chinese geologists from CMEC and a South Sudanese Geologist from the Republic of South Sudan’s Petroleum and Mining Ministry Stephen Massimo Amin to the site last Friday.
“A Memorandum of Understanding to set up a cement plant in the potential site has been signed and other arrangements are now underway for commencement”, he said.
A letter dated 19 February 2012 addressed to the Eastern Equatoria State Governor obtained by Gurtong indicated that the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CMEC to set up a cement plant in Kapoeta “which will facilitate the development of the much needed infrastructure in the country as well as support social welfare development projects in the State”.
Mete said the move will be a major economic boost as the plant will create job opportunities and facilitate development of the region that is in dire need of infrastructure.
“Now what remains is to carry out another feasibility study of the Kapoeta-Torit road as part of the project’s contribution to development of infrastructure. As per our agreement, the company will build a hospital, schools, supply clean water and electricity as a compensation to host communities where deposits are situated”, said Mete.
Amin said the feasibility study was accomplished with great inputs that the region and expressed confidence in the project.
“The project will definitely contribute to the development of the area as well as offer the youth employment opportunities”, he said.
The construction of the plant was hinted at recently by the State Governor Louis Lobong Lojore who on the 29th SPLA Anniversary celebrations in Torit, said that a Chinese company would start cement exploration in Kapoeta region and will absorb over 4,000 South Sudanese from the state as employees of the company.
He said a similar project will be undertaken in Katire region at Imatong Range Mountains and will employ a further more than 6,000 South Sudanese.