Committee says funding boost needed for power projects in Uganda, including hydro

An additional UGX334 billion (US$90.7 million) is needed for electricity transmission, generation and distribution projects in Uganda in order to boost power supply, according to the Natural Resources committee.

In its report to Parliament, the committee recommends that government allocate an additional UGX60 billion (US$16.3 million) to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), UGX96.1 billion (US$26.1 million) to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) and UGX178 billion (US$48.3 million) to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) to augment power supply, reports The Monitor.

Dr. Keefa Kiwanuka, the Natural Resources Committee Chairperson, noted that the installed generation capacity of 1,100 MW cannot be fully utilized due to poor transmission and distribution lines.

The committee is worried that adding the Isimba and Karuma hydro projects onto the national grid may not yield the desired results unless the transmission and distribution systems are expanded and upgraded. There are expectations that Isimba and Karuma will add 1,000 MW to the national grid by the end of this year, but there are challenges of transmitting and distributing it to users.

President Yoweri Museveni recently blamed energy officials for not doing enough on power utilization. Museveni also noted that a modern Uganda needs more power to boost other sectors.

Kiwanuka agreed with President Museveni on the need of increasing coverage of power distribution from 26% to at least 80% by 2040.

This article was adapted from one that first appeared on the ESI Africa website.

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