AFRICA Finance Corporation (AFC), renowned for its leadership in providing infrastructure solutions across the continent, has unveiled a substantial investment of $95.25 million in Mahathi Infra Uganda Limited. This strategic investment marks a significant stride in enhancing sustainable petroleum transportation solutions within the East African region. Mahathi Infra Uganda stands as a prominent player in the oil and gas downstream sector in this region.
The core objective of AFC’s investment is to fund the construction of two groundbreaking self-propelled barges tailored for operations on Lake Victoria. These barges will serve as a more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to the conventional trucking method. In alignment with international Environmental & Safety standards, these barges are designed to prevent fuel leakage, making them a greener solution for petroleum transportation.
Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation, expressed the significance of this investment, stating, ‘This is a significant milestone in our mission to sustainably address Africa’s infrastructure challenges. Through this investment we are contributing to the transformation of petroleum transportation in Uganda with a lower-emissions alternative that cuts costs significantly, reduces road congestion, and improves mobility and accessibility for people, leading to sustainable economic growth and productivity.’
The transformative potential of this project is noteworthy. AFC’s investment will usher in a range of benefits, including a remarkable reduction in carbon emissions. One self-propelled barge is expected to replace the equivalent of 200 trucks on the road. As a result, approximately 100,000 truck journeys will be eliminated annually along East Africa’s bustling transportation route from Kisumu, Kenya, to Kampala, Uganda. The reduction in road traffic will alleviate congestion, mitigate concerns of product adulteration and theft, and minimize the occurrence of accidents.
The positive impact extends beyond transportation and environmental benefits. This initiative will significantly lower working capital burdens for small and medium-sized distributors, enabling them to directly procure products from the Mahathi storage facility. This transformation will reduce delivery time from a week to immediate access, enhancing overall operational efficiency.
Moreover, the construction and operation of these self-propelled barges are projected to generate employment opportunities. Mahathi’s workforce is anticipated to grow from 22 to 100 employees, with women comprising 30 percent of the workforce. This investment lays the groundwork for future expansions, paving the way for similar eco-friendly solutions in other landlocked countries neighbouring Lake Victoria.
In summary, AFC’s investment in Mahathi Infra Uganda stands as a beacon of progress, shaping a more sustainable and efficient landscape for petroleum transportation. The construction of self-propelled barges and the reduction of carbon emissions highlight the convergence of economic growth and environmental responsibility in East Africa.