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Ugandan renewable energy market attractive to South African company

12 December 2007 – South African company, Okhela Renewable Energy Corporation, is negotiating a power purchase agreement with the Ugandan government. The company wants to develop micro hydro plants around the country.

"The long term power purchase agreements of say 20-30 years will make it possible to bring a significant change in the market," said Jacob Mabena, chief executive of Okhela Renewable Energy Corporation.

The company plans on investing 3.5 million Euros on a 10MW ‘domestic waste’ plant, before exploring other alternatives such as solar and wind energy.

Okhela will also develop 5MW of electricity with various micro hydro plant across Uganda.

Uganda’s current electricity demand is estimated at 360MW, but capacity is a maximum of 220MW – 120MW from Kiira and Nalubale and 100MW from various thermal power plants. Two additional 50MW plants are soon to be installed in Mutundwe and Namanve.

"We believe it is important to open up the energy sector to more players and to have a clear and supportive regulatory environment

"We want to work with the government to produce affordable, modern and clean energy for Ugandan citizens. We want to go all around the country and not just focus on the urban centres," Mabena said, commenting on the electrification rate in Ugandan, which is estimated to be around 5 %.