Over 20,000 households in the western part of Uganda will access electricity following the commissioning of Mpanga hydropower plant in Kamwenge District.
While commissioning the plant in Kabeeza Kamwenge District last week, the state minister for Energy Simon D’ujanga, said the generation plant, worth shs57billion will add 18MW to the national grid.
He said: “The 18MW will be sold to the national grid and also distributed to local communities. This will contribute towards sufficient and reliable energy supply as we widen the rural electrification programme.”
He said the power will boost industrialization in the region which includes cement, tea, cobalt and agro-processing industries.
It will also light hospitals, schools and community centres among others.
The generation plant, which was developed by the South Asia Energy Management System, is another success story of the Public Private Partnership. In 2008, government partnered with African EMS Mpanga, a local company, to start off the project.
According to Mr Godfrey Turyahikayo, the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) executive director, government constructed the interconnection facility to evacuate the energy generated as other developers put up the plant.
“The government through REA constructed the power line and a substation that will evacuate the energy generated,” Mr Turyahikayo said.
He added that when such mini-hydro power plants are constructed, the agency moves towards achieving its 67 percent power coverage target.
He said it also supports the government’s strategy of increasing mini-hydro power generation to 150MW by 2015.
Mr Benon Mutambi, the acting Electricity Regulation Authority chief executive officer, said the investment will reduce levels of load shedding in the region.