Wednesday May 30 2018

Government to increase power access to 26 per cent

Mr Simon D’Ujanga, the Energy state minister.

Mr Simon D’Ujanga, the Energy state minister. FILE PHOTO  

By MARTIN LUTHER OKETCH

The Ministry of Energy plans to increase electricity access from 21 to 26 per cent in the next three years.
Speaking during a training in asset management in Kampala, Mr Simon D’Ujanga, the Energy state minister, said the move will be critical in supporting economic activities, especially in agro-processing, manufacturing and industrialisation.

Uganda has in the last 10 years invested heavily in energy infrastructure development, establishing a number of dams such Karuma and Nisimbe, which are expected to be completed in about five years.
Dr Harrison E Mutikanga, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) chief executive officer, said government was already planning for the operation and maintenance of Karuma, which is expected to produce 600 megawatts.

Isimbe is expected to produce 183 megawatts. However, Mr Mutikang said, there was need for effective supervision of the Nalubaale-Kirra Hydropower plant which generates 380 megawatts.
Access to power in Uganda continues to be a challenge with only about 1.5 million households connected to the national grid.
According to data from Umeme, which is Uganda’s largest power distributor, the company has about a million power lines under its supervision.
Other distributors such as West Nile Rural Electrification Company, which mainly supplies parts of West Nile, have a few thousands connected on the grid.

However, according to Mr David Rogers Power, the Usaid private sector unit lead economic growth officer, other stakeholders such as Power Africa, have helped to extend power to about a million connections through off-grid, micro-grid, and central grid solutions, which has enabled many to access electricity.

The plan

Energy security: The plan to increase power access will be promoted under the Usaid-funded Energy Utility Partnership Programme, which assists developing countries to increase energy security and expand environmentally sustainable energy production.

moketch@ug.nationmedia.com

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