30 January 2013 – The technical re-evaluation process for the bidders interested in the construction of the proposed 600 MW Karuma hydropower project in Uganda has been completed. The procurement process has subsequently entered the financial evaluation stage, after which the best evaluated firm will be invited for negotiations, acceptance and signing of the contract before construction works starts.

Statistics from Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority indicate that peak demand for power is growing by 10% every year, and there is need to commission at least 50MW every year if Uganda is to avoid load-shedding.

Already, electricity demand has increased sharply following the commissioning of the 250MW Bujagali hydropower project, a signal that policy makers should be bringing new projects online to prevent a reversion to load shedding.

The country’s national development plan (NDP) identifies limited generation capacity and corresponding limited transmission and distribution network as key constraints to the performance of the energy sector. The NDP further cites increasing power generation capacity as the first objective to deal with this problem and construction of larger hydropower plants as the first intervention strategy.