URUGWIRO VILLAGE - An Indian company, Punj Lloyd, is in talks with the government for possible investment in infrastructure, energy and health.
Atul Punj, the chairman of the company that specialises in integrated design, engineering, procurement and construction, met President Paul Kagame yesterday at Village Urugwiro.
Speaking to the media shortly after meeting the President, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa, said that talks with the investor to set up an electricity plant are in final stages.
“They are willing to invest in various sectors, but first they will build a plant that produces electricity from peat,” Rwangombwa said.
He said that this would add 100 megawatts of power to the existing capacity.
“Their coming will increase foreign direct investment,” said the minister, adding that government is pleased with the decision to invest in energy due to increased demand.
Rwangombwa said that the firm would also invest in health.
“They are looking at the possibility of starting an internationally recognised hospital which could target even people from other countries,” he disclosed.
The firm will also engage in construction of rural roads since it has the technology to construct durable roads in the countryside and not necessarily using tarmac.
Punj observed that being a landlocked country, Rwanda’s ability to interact with the rest of the region would depend on the quality of the infrastructure it creates.
“It is also going to require a lot of power and we are looking at power as the number one priority. After that, we will follow with other investments,” Punj said.
“Rwanda frankly is a pleasant surprise to us. I have been surprised by what I have seen. The efficiency of the government agencies in attempting to attract foreign investment is very good.”
“Your civic sense as a country is unimaginable as an African or even Asian country, and I believe that it is the efficiency of the government system that is pulling us here, more than the size of the market,” Punj added.
Punj Lloyd Ltd has operations spread across the Middle East, Africa, the Caspian, Asia Pacific and South Asia. It provides civil infrastructure and thermal power among other projects.