“UEGCL aims to be the leading power producer in the Great Lakes region,” says Dr. Eng Harrison E. Mutikanga, CEO of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL).
He adds: “Uganda is a member of the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), whereby regional power interconnections are envisaged to be developed to ease the access to electricity power supply to all people of the countries in the Eastern Africa Region. Our strategic objective in this regard is to ensure operational and investment efficiency so as to realize a competitive tariff.”
The utility head continues: “in order to address and forestall the issue of high electricity tariffs, UEGCL is to adopt a multi-pronged approach. First and foremost, consideration will be given to attracting concessional finance for new projects. With the advent of the new hydropower projects under construction, UEGCL’s balance sheet will be geared and restructured and therefore attractive various forms of finance including concessional loans.”
Eng Mutikanga says “the second approach will be that of adopting an Indigenous Operation and Maintenance policy for the new hydropower stations under construction. UEGCL is already in the process of recruiting Ugandans who will undergo capacity building and this will, therefore, create employment and result in sustainable development of the energy sector. This is similar to the model adopted by KENGEN in Kenya. All these will result into a lower end user tariff.”
Uganda’s generation expansion plans
Uganda’s immense power potential and enormous energy investment opportunities will be in focus when stakeholders and decision makers meet for a strategic two-day conference and showcase during the inaugural Future Energy Uganda in Kampala from 13-14 September 2017. Dr Mutikanga is a featured panelist during a session titled: “What are Uganda’s generation expansion plans”.
He says in the next two years, about 846 MW of electricity will be added on to the grid. He explains: “this will be achieved through the implementation of the Karuma (600 MW) and Isimba (183 MW) projects. Other projects in the pipeline are the Muzizi (44.7 MW) and the Nyagak (5.5 MW) hydropower plant projects for which construction works are due to commence next year.”
Other projects to be undertaken include four small hydropower sites namely: Maziba SHPP (1MW), Okulacere SHPP- 6.5 MW, Agbinika SHPP – 2.2 MW, and Nabuyonga – 5.4 MW. According to Dr Mutikanga, UEGCL intends to undertake feasibility studies for the aforementioned small hydropower plants whose objective it is to promote access to electricity to the rural and remote areas of Uganda. He adds: “UEGCL is also developing an alternative energy mix to reduce the heavy reliance on hydro which contributes over 80% of the total installed capacity, as such, we are looking at developing geothermal and solar.
“Uganda at a crossroads”
Future Energy Uganda will provide a meeting platform for project developers, finance houses and multilateral investors, construction and planning companies as well as technology providers from Uganda, the region and from the rest of the world. The event will demonstrate the proactive nature of Uganda to develop the sector efficiently and effectively.
According to the UEGCL CEO: “the Future Energy Uganda conference is pertinent as Uganda is at a crossroads in as far as energy status is concerned. Issues that need to be addressed are the ambitious NDP II and Vision 2040 targets coupled with the current low access rate, an eminent increase in generation capacity, need to reticulate power to the end users, the challenge of high power tariffs and the need for a holistic energy planning platform.”