Nyungwe buffer zone to produce electric poles

The New Forest Company (NFC), will soon begin supplying electricity poles to the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority from Nyungwe buffer zone. 
President Kagame and Julian Ozanne, the chief executive of New Forests Company, meet at Village Urugwiro yesterday. (Courtesy)
President Kagame and Julian Ozanne, the chief executive of New Forests Company, meet at Village Urugwiro yesterday. (Courtesy)

The New Forest Company (NFC), will soon begin supplying electricity poles to the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority from Nyungwe buffer zone. 

NFC chief executive Julian Ozanne disclosed the development in a media briefing after meeting with President Paul Kagame yesterday at Village Urugwiro. 

The meeting came after NFC commissioned a processing plant to exploit the man-made forest area around Nyungwe Forest, located in southwestern Rwanda, for the production of electric poles. 

“We have the most cost-effective and efficient technology and are concerned with maximum utilisation of the precious forest resources in Rwanda. We understand how important it is to maximise efficiency and convert Rwandan wood into products,” Ozanne said.

“The President is supportive and we feel comfortable with this project. We discussed developments in the project and how to make the project more efficient; how to get more value from the forest and how to work better.” 

EWSA to benefit

The UK-based company is currently negotiating an agreement with government that will enable it supply electric poles to Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) in the next few weeks, according to Ozanne. 

“The current strategy of government and its partners is that wooden poles are generally the most efficient and low cost form of electrification; and obviously Rwanda has many poles ready for the market,” he added. 

The Minister for Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, lauded the company’s activities, saying it will help reduce EWSA’s expendures by significantly cutting down on cost of import electric poles. 

“EWSA imports electric poles mainly from Kenya and South Africa; getting them supplied locally (from Rwanda) will positively reflect on their import costs,” Kamanzi said. “Other than the buffer zone around Nyungwe, Rwanda has other manmade forests across the country that are ripe for exploitation.” 

NFC has been operating in Rwanda since July 2011, operating high productivity charcoal kilns and using harvested timber residues to produce charcoal for Cimerwa cement factory. 

The firm employs more than 100 youths and also plans to set up a saw mill in the country by December.

 

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