Soroti Solar Plant a big success, donors say

Wednesday December 14 2016

Kristian Schmidt (Left), the EU head of

Kristian Schmidt (Left), the EU head of delegation chats with Mr Simon D’ujanga (Right) the Energy State minister during the commissioning of the Soroti solar plant. Photo by Stephen Otage. 

By STEPHEN OTAGE

SOROTI.

The governments of Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union have hailed the Soroti Solar Plant describing it as a success story from which the Uganda government should pick lessons.

While commissioning the plant in Soroti District on Monday, Kristian Schmidt, the EU head of delegation who spoke on their behalf, said the Soroti Solar Plant which is the biggest in East Africa, is an iconic renewable energy success story which is now being benchmarked by Vietnam, Zambia Morocco, and Egypt where similar projects are being undertaken. The plant, he said, has been completed without any scandals at a cost of Shs34 billion.

“The 10 MW Soroti Solar Plant is a successful example of how development partners can deliver efficiently when they coordinate resources,” he said, adding the project is the first example of aid effectiveness which is being copied in other countries.

Mr Schmidt said: “Government should take this project as an example to entrust the private sector with such projects because it did not have any procurement queries, Parliament did not have any queries, there were no scandals and it took only eight months to be completed. No shoddy work, no procurement scandals, no public loans, no delays all because the private sector was in charge.”

In his address, Mr Simon D’ujanga the Energy State minister, said the Soroti project is among the three government approved in 2014 under the World Bank funded GET FIT project to find renewable energy projects to supplement hydro electricty in its energy mix efforts.
“We are setting up another solar plant in Tororo and last year we launched the bagasse power plant in Kakira. The energy this plant is generating is equivalent to using 15,000 litres of diesel daily,” he said.

According to Mr Christophe Fleurence, the vice president, Eren Energy that designed the project, Access Power mobilised the funds.

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