Nyanza District will soon be home to Rwanda’s second electric cable manufacturing plant, which is valued at Rwf5 billion, officials have said. The plant, being built by Mark Cables Factory, a globally renowned manufacturer of cables with headquarters in Dubai, UAE, is expected to begin production under phase one in June, with the second phase slated for August. Mark Cables Factory is a subsidiary of Milbridge Group, which owns Prime Cement factory that is based in Musanze district. In an exclusive interview with The New Times on Monday, Eric Rutabana, the East Africa Director of Milbridge Group said that they are currently putting final touches to the factory premises and installing production equipment. Other works include doing electric power installation, shipment of raw materials, and recruitment of additional staff. “Mark Cables has experience in quality cable manufacturing and has used this experience to carefully select state-of-the-art equipment and skillset to ensure the best products for the Rwandan market,” he added. With operations set to kick off next month, Rutabana argues that Rwanda has previously relied on import of different varieties of cables, a practice that the plant seeks to reverse. “With the ambitious target of extending electricity to all Rwandans, we need to have local industries that support this target to ensure that all cables required to extend grid electricity to all parts of the country are sourced locally.” In addition, he pointed out that the impressive growth in the construction sector presents a lot of opportunities in supply of quality electric cables. “The Made in Rwanda campaign provides an enabling environment to take advantage of all these opportunities in the construction sector. We hope that Mark Cables will provide all the electric cable needed in Rwanda and be able to export to neighboring markets.” Targeting 35,000 tonnes per year So far, available data indicates that Rwanda spends at least $30 million on cable imports annually with the East African Community accounting for 11 per cent of the country’s source of cable imports. However, Rutabana thinks that local manufacturing of electric cables will bridge the deficit. “Initially, we target the Rwandan market with different kinds of cable products including AB cable, service (drop) cable, building cable, flexible cable, multicore cable, underground cable, among others.” He highlighted, “With a targeted production capacity of 55,000km (about 35,000 tons) per year, the plant will be able to export to neighboring markets.” The cable factory in Southern Province becomes the second cable factory in Rwanda. In 2018, the first $6 million plant by Alpha Cables was launched in the Kigali Special Economic Zone with the capacity to produce more than 600 tonnes of cables annually. The factory produces 50 tonnes measuring 1,000km of multi-core copper cables every month. This is in line with the government’s ambition as it seeks to increase electricity generation capacity from 238.36 MW to 556 MW by 2024. Access to electricity by population is set to increase from 56.7 per cent to 100 per cent by 2024.