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Uganda to encourage private investors

25th October 2007 – The Ugandan energy ministry has changed strategy to increase electricity supply and generation. Current demand is approximately 380MW during the day – however, generation capacity is only 255MW.

Energy experts have said that attracting private investors to the Ugandan electricity sector is a way of solving the electricity crisis.

 "Our instructions from the Government leadership are to the effect that we should never chase demand. We should always have surplus generation capacity in place," said a senior energy official.

 "This will not only enable us to cater for the desired pace of economic development but also ensure that electricity ultimately reaches every part of the country as directed by the President."

Part of the new strategy is to diversity sources of power, increasing supply and delivering power at affordable prices.

Jacobsen Electro AS, a Norwegian firm, has started work at Namanve in a build-operate-transfer 50MW heavy fuel thermal plant.

Electro-Maxx, Uganda’s first IPP has busy with a feasibility study and work is soon to commence on a 10MW heavy-fuel thermal plant.

"The ministers in the ministry of energy have addressed several meetings to appeal to the business community to invest in the energy sector. We hope they will respond," added the official.

Several private licenses have been issued by the Electricity Regulatory Authority, including West Nile Rural Electricity Company in West Nile, Eco Power for the Ishasha hydro site and China Shang Sheng International for the Kikagati hydro site and Aggreko International projects for both Lugogo and Kiira thermal plants.

Others include Norpak, the core investors in the 200MW Karuma hydropower project, Energy Systems for Africa for solar projects, SN Power, China Shang Sheng, Energy Power Developments for Biomass and Waster, and Aldwych International.