WE HAVE A DUTY TO CONNECT AND SELL AFFORDABLE ELECTRICITY TO UGANDANS- ENERGY MINISTER NANKABIRWA

By Ugandaupdatenews Reporters in Kamapla

Government is committed to improving electricity generation, transmission and distribution to support industrialization  and ensure increased access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa has said.

While delivering a key note address at the Power Forum held at Golden Tulip hotel in Kampala,  Nankabirwa gave an update about Uganda’s power sector where current electricity generation capacity has increased to 1,300MW.

“This generation capacity is expected to exceed 2,000MW by June 2022 due to additional generation expected from Karuma (600 MW), Achwa 1 (41MW), Muzizi 44MW, Nyagak 5.5MW and several small hydro power plants such as Kikagati (16MW), Nyamagasani I (15MW),” Nankabirwa stated ,adding that government in the medium and long term  will also develop  additional -large and small hydro power projects which  include- Ayago (840MW), Orianga (392MW), Kiba (400MW), geothermal resources estimated at 450MW, Nuclear, Solar and Wind in pursuit of our vision 2040 goals.

But much as there is marked increase in power generated there is still a big challenge of demand through consumption by domestic customers and industrialists with just about 1.5million electricity connections registered across the country  compared to the 7 million households registered in Uganda. This means that the majority of Ugandans are yet to be connected to the national grid .  

Nankabirwa said that the country can no-longer suppress demand for electricity and rallied all government agencies involved in power generation ,transmission and  distribution to work around the clock to have as many people get connected to the national grid including industrialists .She said that it was a shame for Ugandan to have so much energy generated but is not consumed due to a number of challenges .

“We have a duty to sell affordable power to the Ugandan people and government is working to reduce electricity tariffs across board.

Nankabirwa noted that government in partnership with the private sector and development partners has constructed 11 mini grids that are supplying electricity to clusters of consumers both on the islands and the main land. At least 53 additional mini grids are being implemented.

In order to ensure that power generated is evacuated to the last mile -government is expanding the power transmission infrastructure through the construction of several high voltage transmission lines and associated substations.

The total electricity transmission network now stands at  (High Voltage Transmission Grid length) 3,298.5Kms of 220kV, 132kV and 66kV high voltage transmission lines.

The total energy sold through the Transmission network stands at 4,721.46GWh. The electricity transmission capacity to date stands at 3110.5MVA and the electricity transmission losses stand at 3.89% to date.

Minister Nankabirwa said government has completed the construction of the 400kV, 248km Karuma-Kawanda high voltage line and the 132kV, 54km Karuma-Olwiyo high voltage line, to evacuate power for Karuma HPP. The construction of the Kawanda Substation at 98%, Olwiyo Substation at 90% and Lira Substation at 95%.

“To facilitate supply of power to industrial parks, construction of the Kawanda-Kapeeka power line and Kapeeka Substation have been completed to supply power to Kapeeka Industrial Park. The electricity distribution network has expanded to 17,247.2Km of Medium Voltage networks and 20,933km of Low Voltage Lines, bringing the total to 38,180.2km of distribution network,” she added.

While taking note of the  theme for this year’s Energy and Minerals Week – “Stimulating the Economy to safeguard Livelihoods, Jobs, Businesses and Industrial Recovery,”- Nankabirwa underscored the importance for the population to access electricity- which will in effect  trigger economy growth, transform lives, create jobs and encourage business growth.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy –Eng. Irene P. Bateebe said that government’s goal is to provide universal access to electricity for Ugandans by 2030.  So far ,she said, government has facilitated access to electricity for close to 300,000 households.

“ Through the Ministry of Energy ,government is very keen to facilitating access to electricity in remote areas through the development of mini-grids and the use of standalone solar home systems. Several mini-grid pilots have been set up with support from development partners such as WWF, EU and GIZ,” Eng. Bateebe stated.

In his introductory remarks , the Under Secretary and Accounting Officer at the Energy Ministry , Mr. Emmanuel Freddie Mugunga  said that access to electricity was key to the successful implementation of the new government parish (Emyooga) development model .

He explained the the rationale of the Power Forum 2021 which  is to engage stakeholders on strategies for harnessing opportunities for increased electricity access, reliability and productive use, energy management and the roadmap for the transformation of the power sector.

Eminent panelists   -Eng. Cecilia Menya , Mr. Valentine Katabira Deputy CEO Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), Mr. Paul Mwesigwa MD Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) updated the nation  about the developments in the power sector during -a Power Sector Round Table  discussion moderated by Eng.Simon T. Kalanzi which discussed the topic-stimulating demand through  coordinated action for productive use of electricity –strategies for multi-sector approach.

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