Hardware Products Plaza To Boost Uganda’s Construction Sector


Kampala traders dealing in hardware products and services have now got a home after city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia officially opened the Hardware City complex on Entebbe road, downtown the city near Nakasero Market.

Crane Management Services, which is part of the Ruparelia Group, on Monday, at a grand opening ceremony, handed over the multistoried building worth $25m to tenants.

The spacious  Hardware City building was officially opened by the chairman of Ruparelia Group Sudhir Ruparelia, Crane Management Services managing director Rajiv Ruparelia, traders and tenants.

The state of the art building seats on about 27000 square meters of prime land, has 281 shops and 66 residential apartments; the piece of land on which the building that took 18 months to construct cost $7m. Already tenants have taken up shops and residence.

“What we had in mind when starting to work on this project was to provide a one stop center to offer hardware products and services. This would help customers to buy everything in one place. We wanted to create a situation were a customer doesn’t move from one place to another looking for hardware goods or services,” Sudhir told tenants at the grand opening of the multistoried building.

Unlike other commercial buildings in the city centre, tenants at the Hardware City complex will pay their monthly rent in Uganda Shillings and they will face no monthly rent increment for the next two years.

“‘Since it is a new building, we are not going to increase monthly rent charges for the next two years,” Sudhir assured tenants.

Rajiv Ruaparelia the managing director of Crane Management Limited the company behind the development of this magnificent building described the building as modern, safe, secure and of high standards when compared to their neighboring commercial building.

Rajiv, the only son of Sudhir, said they have secured a 500kv transformer to supply the building with constant power and will provide tenants with pre-paid sub meters through which they will be able to buy electricity. He said it will be a private service akin to Umeme’s Yaka system where the customer pays for any amount of electricity at any time.

Rajiv said the building is space with parking space that can accommodate 800 vehicles. Tenants to park their vehicles will pay a monthly subscription of $50; Non-tenants will pay $100 per month. He added that building will be open between 6am to 10pm because people need enough time to do their business.

SOCO Gives Up Oil License In Protected DRC Park

British oil company SOCO International said it no longer held a stake in an exploration license located in a DRC national park, home to mountain gorillas.

SOCO said it was writing off the costs associated with operations in the so-called Block V inside the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo."SOCO no longer holds the Block V license," the company said in a statement.

SOCO signed a production sharing agreement with the DRC government in 2006. It said earlier that it reached an agreement with conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature, which operates as the World Wildlife Fund in the United States, to halt work in the DRC's Virunga National Park, a protected area and home to mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species.

In October, the WWF said the number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga park has increased over the last few decades following the work of regional conservationists. The organization said the threat continues, however, to the species' habitat. A census is underway.

The company in its latest update said no drilling ever took place inside Block V and no oil extraction plan was in place in the controversial basin."Block V is not located within the mountainous Mikeno sector [of the park], home to the famous mountain gorillas," it stressed.

Virunga, an award-winning documentary, showcases how the work of poachers, along with oil interests and conflict, has threatened the habitat and the survival of the mountain gorillas. The film raises questions about SOCO's transparency in the region, questions the company has criticized.

SOCO in 2012 was forced to relocate some its staff from the DRC to neighboring Uganda to flee a rebellion launched by the March 23 Movement. It defended its operations in the DRC, saying much of its preliminary work was carried out using aerial surveillance.

The company's work in the DRC had involved seismic surveys of the oil-rich Lake Edward region to get a better understanding of the reserve potential.



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