Artist’s impression
of the Bujagali
hydropower dam
 
Kampala, Uganda — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 February 2011 – The Ugandan power company Taylor Biomass Energy Uganda (TBEU) has announced that it is planning to invest US$160 million to build a power plant that will burn rubbish and generate 40MW of electricity.

Reuters reports that this would be the first major renewable energy project in east Africa’s third-largest economy, which is plagued by frequent power outages due to supply constraints and a run-down transmission network.

Despite years of relative political stability and sustained economic growth, energy shortages have stunted the expansion of Uganda’s manufacturing sector. Over the past five years, the government has been seeking investors to help fill the power deficit.

A statement released here said TBEU would implement the project in partnership with Taylor Biomass Energy LLC of the United States, the Ugandan firm’s part owner.

“The companies will invest over US$160 million to construct a plant that will recycle almost 1 030t daily of municipal solid waste from Kampala and the surrounding Wakiso district, to generate renewable clean energy for over 35 000 homes,” TBEU said in the statement.

It added that financial closure and construction would take two years, and that when up and running the plant would employ about 400 workers.

“The project will save the environment about 3Mt of greenhouse gaseous emissions annually, and an additional 1 100 indirect jobs will also be created,” the statement added.

Taylor Biomass Energy LLC, which will provide all technical back-up to the project, is constructing a similar plant in Montgomery, New York.

Uganda’s largest hydropower plant, Bujagali hydropower dam, with a maximum generation capacity of 250MW, is due to come online in phases starting later this year.