UGANDA – Bidco Uganda Limited, Uganda’s leading producer of edible oil and the only company that owns and operates palm oil plantation in East Africa, is seeking to double its output to 80,000 tons.
BUL, jointly owned by Wilmar International, Josovina Commodities Pte Ltd. of Singapore and Bidco Africa Ltd. of Kenya, is already producing as much as 40,000 tons of palm oil from its Bugala island estate on Lake Victoria, reports Bloomberg.
The company is establishing its second palm oil project on Buvuma Island and targets to have 1,000 hectares under trees this year and 5,000 hectares in four years, according to Connie Masaba, head of the Ugandan agency supervising the project.
Small-holder farmers supplying Bidco are expected to plant a total of 2,500 hectares by 2025.
To support the project, the government is providing land, as the investment is aimed at slashing imports.
The nation shipped in crude and refined vegetable fats and oils valued at US$243 million in 2017-18, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.
Meanwhile, Wilmar International’s subsidiary in South Africa commenced construction of the US$81m processing facility early last year and is set to be completed in April 2022.
The crude vegetable oil refining facility at Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) would be used to produce cooking oil, mayonnaise and margarine.
The facility would boast features that include a refinery, a fractionator, a shortening plant, packaging & warehouse and a tank farm.
It will also have an effluent treatment plant, water treatment plant, a coal yard and boilers.
The buildings will include an engineering workshop, an administration building, employee change rooms, clinic, canteen and a security office.
The plant is set to use natural lighting and solar energy for non-process buildings. Solar panels will also be installed on the warehouse rooftop expected to provide 1MW energy.
Furthermore, energy-efficient equipment would be used on the facility and the plant would be controlled with a SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) to minimise wastage and hence energy use.
Energy consumption will be minimized by using exhaust streams for heating up cold process streams; and streetlights and weighbridges will also be powered by solar energy.
The global vegetable oil market could expand to US$299.2 billion by 2027 at a compound annual growth rate of 3.3%, according to a report by Research and Markets.
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