The organisation responsible for electricity generation and supply in Uganda is the Uganda Electricity Board, known as the UEB. Much of Uganda’s power is generated from hydroelectric sources. The Nalubaale (formerly Owen Falls) hydro station is the country’s largest at 177 MW.
The UEB was scheduled for privatization in early 2001. Future projects will follow the same route as the Bujagali project with government owning assets and the operation of generation and transmission facilities run privately. The generating business in Uganda is worth US$ 307 million and consists of 260 MW of power capacity.
While the country has large electricity production potential, demand exceeds supply and as a result there are often shortages of power.
A national energy plan was developed by British consultants in 1999 and approved by the Ugandan government. To meet the requirements of the plan US$ 1.69 billion of funding will need to be found. Five generation projects were listed including the Bujagali hydro facility (250 – 2000 MW), the Karuma dam (100 – 200 MW), the Nalubaale dam (180 MW) and a number of smaller projects.
The hydro potential of Uganda is large, possibly as high as 3000 MW, while the country is currently operating at less than 10 % of this figure. There is also 450 MW of geothermal energy available.
Uganda exports about 18% of its total capacity to Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The East African region currently has an installed generation capacity of 1800 MW, serving a population of 80 million people.
The World Bank has made a US$ 500 million credit available to the Ugandan government for rural electrification over the next ten years. The government has promised to increase the electricity coverage from the current 1 % to at least 10 % over the next few years.
A 290 MW private power hydro project is planned at Bujagali. The project, known as the Nile Independent Power Project, is being developed by AES Corporation (USA) and Madhvani International (South Africa). Requiring an investment of US$ 530 million, the plant is scheduled for commission in 2002. Power will be sold to neighbouring countries.
The World Commission on Dams, a World Bank-supported Commission that investigates the feasibility of large dams, water and hydroelectric projects, has produced a report stating its concerns over the Bujagali project. The International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and OPIC have considered financing the project and will take into account the findings of the report. The Commission has recommended that the dam not be constructed unless the populations affected by the project are in agreement and financial mechanisms are in place so that these people can be compensated and damaged ecosystems repaired.
A plan to link a power transmission system from the proposed Bujagali power plant to Kampala has been finalized. AES Nile Power will be responsible for the construction of the 97.5 km transmission line, although the Ugandan government will own the infrastructure. The project’s start date is late 2001.
Owen Falls is undergoing an extensive upgrade that will add 200 MW to the plant on completion. The Owen Falls II project has been awarded to two Italian companies, Impregilo and Salina.
A project to build a 180 MW hydro-electric power plant at Karuma Falls should begin in 1999. The plant will be built and operated by Norpack Power Ltd, a Norwegian group, and Pakwach Power Plant, a Ugandan company. A 10-12 MW hydropower station is also planned at Muzizi.
Funding to the extent of sh150 million has been secured for power extension work in Rukiga county, Kabale district. The power will be extended from Muhanga trading centre along Ntungamo- Kabale road and into the surrounding areas to benefit Kandago and Kerere among others.
The Ugandan government has awarded an American firm, Fieldstone Africa, a contract to deal with the marketing of the Uganda Electricity Board successor companies ahead of their eventual sales.
The US$ 230 million Kiyara Power Station in Jinja, commissioned in June 2000, has significantly relieved the power shortage in Kenya through power exports from Uganda. The station, when complete, will have an installed capacity of 240 MW.
The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa is a self-financing, national development finance institution focusing on contributing to economic growth, industrial development and economic empowerment through its financing activities.
Eskom Enterprises’ vision is to be the leading energy and related services business in emerging markets. Through our subsidiaries, we are engaged in a quest to develop and unleash Africa’s energy potential. Our track record so far is impressive: we assisted in the construction of more than 26 000 km of transmission line that spans virtually the entire Southern African region; some of the biggest and most advanced power generation plants in Africa have been built by us; through refurbishment, we have given Africa’s power industry a new lease of life; we supply energy management skills to a number of African governments.