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Uganda, Kenyan investor sign agreement to build hydrogen fertilizer plant at Karuma

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In a strategic move to promote sustainable agriculture and reduce import reliance, the Ugandan government has signed a Joint Development Agreement with Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) Limited (IPS) for a green hydrogen-based fertilizer plant.

The plant will be strategically located at Karuma, Kiryandongo District, within the Bunyoro sub-region, to leverage its proximity to the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Plant.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), representing the Government of Uganda, has committed a minimum 100 MW supply from Karuma HPP to develop this innovative project.
Energy Minister Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu signed on behalf of the government.

“Uganda is embracing green technology to transform its agricultural sector and become a regional sustainability leader,” said Dr Nankabirwa.

“This project will not only reduce dependency on imported fertilizers and empower farmers but also catalyze Uganda’s green hydrogen economy, fostering innovation in mobility, power generation, oxygen production, and other key sectors.”

The project, facilitated by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial
Development (PACEID), aims to boost domestic fertilizer production, improve food security, and create economic opportunities for farmers.

IPS, part of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), will lead the project alongside Westgass Internasjol AS, a Norwegian green energy specialist, and Maire Tecnimont S.p.A, an Italian multinational renowned for fertilizer plant engineering.

This venture enjoys the vital support of the British and Norwegian governments, global champions of green initiatives. Financial backing is anticipated from British International
Investment (BII) and Norfund, Norway’s development finance institution.

“IPS is dedicated to climate-positive development,” said Galeb Gulam, CEO of IPS. “This project is a game-changer for Ugandan agriculture, demonstrating our commitment to low- carbon economic solutions.

Odrek Rwabwogo, PACEID chairman, emphasized the project’s support of Uganda’s export goals. “This initiative will harness resources and technology to make a decisive impact on our agricultural sector and national export ambitions,” he said.

This collaborative effort envisions a future of resilient, sustainable agriculture with lasting benefits for Ugandan farmers and the economy. It demonstrates the Ugandan government’s strong commitment to import substitution and enhanced food security.

“Our sustainable approach will create jobs, decrease fertilizer imports, and address national food and income security. This partnership exemplifies Uganda’s focus on ecological responsibility and economic success,” added Kinar Kent, CEO of Westgass.

Westgas is the international project development arm of Westgass Hydrogen, a green energy company focused on accelerating the transition from fossil fuels in Europe and emerging markets. The Company enables customers to run carbon-neutral businesses by 2030, supplying affordable and secure green hydrogen and green ammonia, leveraging on its experience, expertise and network in the energy sector.

Westgass is collaborating on this project with Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries. Norfund’s committed portfolio totals 3.1 billion USD in Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, and Central America. Norfund has four investment areas: Renewable Energy, Financial Inclusion, Scalable Enterprises and Green Infrastructure.

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