Pravin Kekal, Bukono’s Managing Director told a team of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) who had visited his company for an appraisal tour, that he is seeking to borrow US$4million to expand his business. He wants government, through UIA to guarantee his loan.
Kekal said: “We want the $4 million to increase his company’s ethanol output from the current 40,000 litters to 50,000.”
Bukona Agro Processors Limited, was commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni in March 2020 and is located at Lapem village, Koch Goma sub-country in Nwoya district.
Apart from manufacturing Ethanol, the investment also includes a Green Fuel Uganda project which produces energy stoves that use ethanol got from processed cassava.
The e-stoves, which are ethanol powered, are deemed to be clean, safe, economical, environmental friendly and emission free. The company’s executives say each stove comes with a ten-year guarantee and is sold at UGX250,000 while a litre of ethanol to power it costs UGX3,700 and lasts for one and half days.
Ethanol is a renewable form of energy produced from fermenting carbohydrates or sugar sources such as cassava or maize among others. It is considered a clean energy source compared to fossil fuels like Diesel and Petrol, and its adoption is growing widely thanks to international protocols that require the reduction in fossil fuels that scientists agree cause global warming.
The UIA team was led by Director for Investment Promotion and Development Sheila Mugyenzi.
The meeting was also attended by UIA Director for Small and Medium Enterprises Winnie Lawoko-Olwe, Prossy Kikabi, the Acting Deputy Director Business Development and Emmanuel Kaye, a UIA Environment Officer.
Kekal decried the effects of COVID-19 that forced the company to close for three months.
“What is threatening is that the COVID-19 was not killing people due to strict adherence conditions set by government but now the pandemic is a serious threat,” he said adding that the other challenge is the intermittent power supply that is affecting our production capacity,”
He added the factory has created 150 jobs with a large number of people in the district are also engaged in growing cassava as the raw material to produce Ethanol that is used for making alcohol and fuel used for cooking in a denatured Ethanol Stove.
Mugyenzi hailed the project for addressing the rampant level of unemployment among the youth and local people in the sub-region.
She urged farmers to work hand in hand with the factory owners to grow cassava for the continuation of the project and to improve their livelihood.