In­no­va­tive com­pa­nies to com­pete for cash award

The African - - NEWS - BY JUSTIN DAMIAN

Com­pa­nies and en­trepreneurs with in­no­va­tive projects that can re­duce trans­port and lo­gis­tic costs in East Africa stand a chance to win up to USD 500,000, thanks to Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) for mak­ing this pos­si­ble.

East Africa is re­ported to have the high­est freight and trans­port costs in the world; over 50 per­cent higher than the US and Europe per kilo­me­tre and trans­port costs for land­locked countries in the re­gion can be as high as 75 per­cent of the value of ex­ports.

Speak­ing dur­ing the launch­ing

Sym­bion Power Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Paul Hinks said: “Nachu project is unique in terms of its ge­o­log­i­cal qual­i­ties and we are pleased to be work­ing with Mag­nis on this world-class en­deav­our”.

Sym­bion has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence op­er­at­ing power plants and con­struct­ing trans­mis­sion lines in Tan­za­nia and else­where in the world, in­clud­ing a 50MW diesel plant at Arusha, a 55MW diesel plant at Dodoma and a 120MW gas tur­bine plant in Dar es Salaam.

In March 2013, Mag­nis an­nounced an ex­ten­sive graphite dis­cov­ery on its 100 per­cent owned of sec­ond grant round in Dar es Salaam, TMEA Coun­try Di­rec­tor for Tan­za­nia, Dr Josephat Kweka, said the Lo­gis­tics In­no­va­tion for Trade (LIFT) Chal­lenge Fund is a US$16 mil­lion grant-based fi­nan­cial mech­a­nism that sup­ports in­no­va­tors with good ideas for prod­ucts or ser­vices that can re­duce the costs of trans­port and lo­gis­tics in East Africa.

Dr Kweka noted that, the grants are made avail­able through com­pet­i­tive bid of pro­pos­als which are sub­mit­ted and un­dergo tight screen­ing process to get the projects which are fea­si­ble and which can have max­i­mum pos­i­tive im­pact. Nachu ten­e­ment prompt­ing an im­me­di­ate ex­plo­ration work on it.

The Nachu project is ex­pected to de­liver some 220 000 t/y of graphite con­cen­trate over a mine-life of 16 years, and could be de­vel­oped at a cap­i­tal cost of US$269m.

The Nachu project has a global min­eral re­source es­ti­mate of 174-mil­lion tons, grad­ing 5.4 per­cent graphitic car­bon, and rep­re­sented one of the largest min­eral re­sources of flake graphite in the world.

How­ever, the prefea­si­bil­ity study (PFS) con­ducted in 2014 es­ti­mated that the project would have a NPV

He said tran­sit times have the most sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on ex­ports and also re­sult in firms hav­ing to carry higher lev­els of stocks mak­ing them less ef­fi­cient.

“It is our hope that the en­trepreneurs and in­no­va­tors of the East African Com­mu­nity in part­ner­ship with their coun­ter­parts in­ter­na­tion­ally will drive for­ward de­vel­op­ment through the adop­tion or in­tro­duc­tion of ‘ best prac­tice’ tech­nolo­gies in the trans­port and lo­gis­tics sec­tor, en­abling lo­cal busi­nesses to com­pete fa­vor­ably in the in­creas­ingly global econ­omy,” he said.

LIFT Chal­lenge Fund Man­ager, of US$1.04-bil­lion and an IRR of 84 per­cent, based on a pro­duc­tion rate of 180 000 tons a year.

The Nachu area cov­ers 199km² and is sit­u­ated west of the coastal city of Lindi and 200km by road from the port city of Mt­wara. Valu­able Paul Hinks In an­other de­vel­op­ment and setup and in a move that is set to re­in­force its global ex­pan­sion ef­forts, In­vest Africa has an­nounced the ap­point­ment of Paul Hinks, CEO of Sym­bion Power, as Chair­man of In­vest Africa in the United States.

Hinks will spear­head the David Mitchell said Trans­port costs in the EAC are in­deed among the high­est per kilo­me­tre in the world, but any re­sponse to the chal­lenge of bring­ing them down will be a com­bi­na­tion of pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor ini­tia­tives.

He said, LIFT de­lib­er­ately fo­cuses on sup­port­ing the pri­vate sec­tor to play its part in this chal­lenge em­pha­siz­ing that gov­ern­ments can ad­dress in­fra­struc­ture needs like road, rail and large trans­port and lo­gis­tics fa­cil­ity up­grades and in­vest­ments, but the pri­vate sec­tor can act in­de­pen­dently to in­tro­duce in­no­va­tions that bring down the op­er­at­ing costs of in­di­vid­ual trans­port and providers.

“LIFT pro­vides fund­ing to en­able en­trepreneurs and com­pa­nies to test new ways of do­ing things, the re­sults if suc­cess­ful be­ing repli­ca­ble else­where with the po­ten­tial to scale up the prod­uct or ser­vice to spread the ben­e­fits to a larger group of ben­e­fi­cia­ries,” he said.

LIFT is a Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) ini­tia­tive man­aged by Nathan As­so­ci­ates through a Fund Man­age­ment Team based in Nairobi with fund­ing sup­port from the UK Gov­ern­ment’s De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (DFID) lo­gis­tics ser­vice

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