Uganda signs $400m deal for green hydrogen fertiliser plant; when will Ghana’s plant begin?

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Farmers use tractors to plough land. Uganda's hydrogen based fertilizer project will use the abundant renewable energy resources to produce green hydrogen to be used for the manufacture of fertilizer for farmers among others

The Eastern African country has sealed a deal to erect a plant for hydrogen fertilizer for local farmers

The multifaceted project will contribute to fostering low carbon development and promoting sustainable agriculture as it has already been articulated

While Ghana is struggling to cope with modern ways of improving hydrogen fertilizer, Uganda’s Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa on Thursday signed a joint development agreement with Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) and Westgass International for a green hydrogen fertiliser plant.

The plant will be strategically located at Karuma, Kiryandogo District, within Bunyoro sub-region to leverage its proximity with the 600 megawatts Karuma hydropower plant.

According to Ms Nankabirwa, the significance of the project extends far beyond the realms of agriculture.

She said the project aims to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fertilisers, therefore strengthening economic resilience and sovereignty with an estimated investment of about $400 million (Ush1.55 trillion).

The minister further explained that the project seeks to increase the production of nitrogen fertiliser to about 200,000 tonnes annually and would take up to 100 megawatts of electricity from the Karuma power station.

“This aligns with the energy policy that seeks to support industrialisation through electrification,” Ms Nankabirwa said.

She also added that the initiative is expected to create more than 300 direct jobs.

Speaking at the signing event, IPS CEO Galeb Gulam said as a long-term investor, they develop businesses to be vehicles that create economic value by improving people’s quality of life and restoring and protecting nature.

“This hydrogen-based fertiliser project will use Uganda’s abundant renewable energy resources to produce green hydrogen to be used for the manufacture of fertiliser,” Mr Gulam said.

He said they are excited to be part of the catalytical project that reflects commitment to climate action and the overall sustainable development agenda.

He also said the project would contribute to fostering low-carbon development and promoting sustainable agriculture as it has already been articulated.

Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PaceID Uganda) Chairman Odrek Rwabwogo emphasised that the project supports Uganda’s export goals, utilising rich natural resources and innovative technologies.

Mr Rwabwogo said the project aims at propelling the agricultural sector towards achieving the ambitious $6 billion export target.

Aga Khan Development Network has maintained its engagement in Uganda continuing to invest in education, healthcare, economic development, and cultural activities. Upholding its mandate of improving the quality of life of the communities in which it operates.

IPS is the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for economic development and an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network.

IPS has developed a wide range of businesses spanning multiple sectors such as energy, telecommunications, agro-based industries, pharmaceuticals, printing and packaging, among others.

By: Bernice Ofori Appiah

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