Uganda president: 250-MW Karuma to nearly triple in size

In a New Year’s speech to the nation, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni declared the government has decided to nearly triple in size the proposed 250-MW Karuma hydroelectric project on the Nile River.

Museveni said December 31 that the government has decided to commence construction of the Karuma hydro project to a capacity of 700 MW, nearly three times its original proposed capacity.

Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has been seeking bids for detailed design and construction supervision of Karuma. (HNN 12/10/08)

The president said the government is committed to financing the project from its own revenues saved in the Energy Fund at the Bank of Uganda. He said the fund would total about US$200 million by the end of the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

Museveni directed the Ministry of Finance to ensure more resources are budgeted to complete the project. In June, state-run New Vision reported that Finance Minister Ezra Suruma said 215.6 billion shillings (US$138.2 million), carried forward in the energy fund from the 2007-2008 fiscal year, would be used for development of Karuma.

The president said the next stage to be implemented in the energy sector would be the development of regional transmission and distribution systems, including nationwide rural electrification. He said that would include a regional East Africa transmission infrastructure to export power to Kenya, Tanzania, southern Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi.

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