Colas UK has revealed its new direction as a transport infrastructure company able to compete for the largest projects both in the UK and overseas. The signing of a £215m deal in the Autumn, supported by the largest ever loan to an African government by UK Export Finance (UKEF) to build a second international airport in Uganda was brought about through the knowledge and global expertise of Colas UK. The construction of the new Hoima International Airport will now commence, delivered by Colas’ newly formed joint venture SBC.
Colas UK CEO Lee Rushbrooke and Director of Strategic Projects Carl Fergusson accompanied International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox on a trade visit to Uganda and Ethiopia earlier this year to promote British business and investment opportunities in the region, and by aligning Colas’ expertise within the airport infrastructure sector, together with British Government investment were able to secure the construction of the airport in the Hoima region of West Uganda.
The visit to Africa and consequential investment, has provided a huge boost to British businesses seeking to access the vast potential that Africa presents for UK companies, particularly after Brexit and will start breaking down barriers to trade by investing in the region whilst helping improve infrastructure such as roads, airports and ports which will reduce the time and cost of transporting goods across East Africa and allowing regional economies and businesses to grow.
Colas UK’s Carl Fergusson said, “With huge untapped natural resources, rapid urbanization and attractive demographics, the requirement for investment in infrastructure to support continued regional development is clear, and this aligns well with the outward looking international element of the Colas UK strategy which seeks to expand our activities in East Africa. We are delighted to have been awarded this significant project”.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said: “The UK is a global leader in the infrastructure sector and I am delighted that UK Export Finance is helping the Ugandan Government and Colas on this significant project.
“We are proud to support our trading partners around the world and enable UK companies to contribute their expertise. This will help to close the infrastructure gap in Uganda and create local economic growth and jobs”.