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  • Olive Kigongo, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry(UNCCI) President and UNCCI Directors having a photo session with Officials of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Biomass a major core for energy Development

Qalaa Holdings’ Tawazon in Egypt announced signing a US$ 50 million, five-year contract with Ethiopia’s Messebo Cement to supply 100,000 tons of biomass annually which will be used as a source of energy to replace coal. As stipulated by the agreement between the two companies, Tawazon’s Waste Management subsidiary known as Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU) will be the technical manager and service provider responsible for collecting and processing local waste that will be converted to environmentally-friendly biofuel as compared to using natural gas, coal or oil that emit carbon.

Through lobbing and advocating for affordable, adequate and appropriate power solutions Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), can help its members gain interest in the production of energy through use of waste residue at a large industrial scale.  Uganda energy sector still has major gaps that need to be tapped into; these gaps are a contributor to the high power tariffs that are a pain to industrialists.  Uganda needs to prioritize the energy sector inorder to acquire affordable power and on the other hand tax dividends through regional trade.

Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU
Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU

Dr. Hisham Sherif, CEO ECARU, says they are exceptionally proud to be able to transfer knowledge and years of experience to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa where biomass as a source of renewable energy has been largely untapped. ECARU has been supplying biomass and RDF as alternative fuels to cement companies in Egypt for the past three years”.

The contract with Messebo Cement, a plant located in Mekelle, 780 km from Addis Ababa with a production capacity of 2 million tons of cement per annum, is renewable beyond the stipulated five-year time period under the same terms and conditions. It marks the first step in what could be a series of mutual cooperation agreements in the area of knowledge sharing and technology transfer between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Tawazon, Qalaa Holdings’ subsidiary company for investment in the regional solid waste management industry, controls two companies: the Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU), a solid waste management service operator; and the Engineering Tasks Group (ENTAG), a solid waste management engineering and contracting company. Together, these two companies form a leading waste management enterprise with extensive operations in Egypt and an international project book in Oman, Malaysia, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria.

Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal
Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman Dr Ahmed Heikal

Qalaa Holdings has invested in Tawazon as part of its energy portfolio which also includes TAQA Arabia, Egypt’s largest private sector energy distribution company and the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), a US$ 3.7 billion refinery, Egypt’s largest in-progress, private sector mega project.  UNCCI members need to extensively tap into this sector because it is a vital input in other sectors and a major contributor to employment.

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