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French initiative to finance Ugandan firms going “green”

money & power
Ugandan firms looking to become energy efficient, have the financial support of the French Development Agency (AFD)

In East Africa, the French Development Agency (AFD), which seeks to finance green projects, has earmarked $13 million to fund Ugandan companies looking to implement energy efficient equipment and measures, the East African Business Week reported.

This agency falls under the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance initiative (SUNREF), which has already committed more than $2 billion internationally.

Energy efficiency funds

According to SUNREF’s project coordinator Jeff Murage, the concessional financing is held by the Diamond Trust Bank in Uganda.

Nelson Tashobya of GIZ added that energy efficiency funds can be accessed through additional financial institutions in the east African region.

Tashobya said: “People can also access energy efficiency funds through the Uganda Energy Capitalisation Company.

“Funds are channelled through five banks Centenary Bank, Post Bank, FINCA, Pride Microfinance and Opportunity Bank.”

Becoming energy efficient

According to media, Uganda’s Commissioner of Energy, James Banabe, stated that 64% of power generated in the country is consumed by industries. Should these industries implement energy efficient methods, they can save up to 10% of power consumed.

Banabe said: “Over 30MW of electricity can be saved if energy saving measures are used [by industries].”

Fast-tracking energy projects

In other Ugandan energy news, government has demanded that the public power facility, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL), is to manage the completion of the country’s hydro power projects over the next three years.

This instruction has been ordered to help fast track the development process which will in turn reduce electricity tariffs, local media New Vision reported last week.

The Ugandan government’s latest move to ensure the completion of hydro power projects is part of a target to sell power from generation plants at no more than $5 cents/kWh.

UEGCL chairman Dr Stephen Robert Isabalija said that the current cost of power produced by independent power producers (IPPs) amounts to $11 cents/kWh compared to power generated by UEGCL which is sold at $1.2 cents/kWh.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.