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Transformer manufacturer asks Gov’t for support to penetrate market

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Electrical Controls and Switchgear (ECS) limited, a local company that has ventured into manufacturing transformers has called for government assistance in penetrating the market.

James Kalibbala, the managing director of ECS says they ventured into manufacturing of transformers last year, however, they have so far sold less than 10 transformers.

He says that the three major local buyers are the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), UMEME and Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL).

Kalibbala says UMEME told them that they have a running supply contract with an Indian company which will expire next year, UEDCL placed an order for 60 transformers but has not put them to use while REA has not responded to the demand.

According to Kalibbala, the three companies purchase 99 percent of transformers in Uganda.

He also says that they have the capacity to manufacture over 1,000 transformers per year.

Kalibbala told Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde who paid them a visit on Thursday that REA is asking for a 10 year production period in its tenders instead of focusing on the quality.

He says the company received an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, an indication that they are manufacturing quality products.

The company has been in the electrical controls business for over a decade and manufactures a range of other products which include float switches and probes, timer and timer switches, power protection relays, AC meter drives, power distribution boards, lightning protection systems, among others.

Apart from the transformers, Kalibbala says they have market for the other product.

Kyambadde pledged government support. She said ECS is a unique capital-intensive company that requires government support to survive.

She pledged to convince government agencies in the energy sector to start purchasing transformers from ECS.

Kyambadde also implored the company to invest heavily in marketing given that they have started manufacturing a new and expensive product.

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