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Uganda: AfDB supports biomass power plant

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $1 million grant to support Earth Energy Limited for the development of a 20MW biomass power plant in northern Uganda, the Monitor reported.

AfDB resident representative in Uganda, Jeremiah Mutonga, said this development is not only targeted at increasing power supply but also to mitigate climate change due to deforestation.

Speaking during the signing of the grant in Kampala on Monday, Mutonga highlighted that the use of renewable energy will help in reducing the effects of climate change.

“Promoting renewables means providing secure and clean energy supply while supporting economic growth and economic development at large without destroying the environment like deforestation which is causing rapid climatic change being experienced at the moment in Uganda,” he said.

Media reported that Mutonga said the AfDB is not only limited to working with government but it will also work with the private sector to support their development projects, which are beneficial to the economy and residing communities.

Base load biomass power plant

Mutonga further explained that the purpose of the grant is to finance certain expenditure required to support the development process of the construction and operation of a 20MW baseload biomass power plant.

Media quoted him stating that the expenditures consist of the development of an environment and social impact assessment; the development of a technical feasibility study, which includes a full feasibility study, biomass feasibility and feedstock study, a detailed engineering design study and a power evaluation study.

“The grant will also finance project management activities such as the recruitment of a procurement specialist and the audit of the grant use,” Mutonga said.

Development to supplement hydroelectricity power

The head of Earth Energy Limited, James Orima, said the development of the project will take 18 months, at a cost of $50-$70 million and will cover most districts in northern Uganda.

Orima said: “This project is timely and very important because when completed it is going to provide renewable energy source to local people in the northern Uganda; it will not only provide renewable energy but it will also create employment opportunities for the people in the region.”

He noted that the country relies heavily on hydroelectricity power which gets affected by climatic change.

“It is time come to up with an alternative energy sources which is cheap and reliable, this plant is going to use plant reeds from groundnuts, maize and other plants to generate power,” Orima said.

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Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.