UGANDA’S largest power distribution company, Umeme Limited, plans to launch an $83.27M electric power distribution project this year to improve the distribution network of the East African country.
According to Selestino Babungi, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, the company has already secured approval for the project from the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and that they intend to focus on six key areas i.e. addressing energy losses and improving operational efficiency, addressing load demand growth, improving power supply reliability, boosting power generation evacuation and supply, improving network systems automation and beefing up network protection and security.
Uganda’s Electricity connections policy
This project is in support of Uganda’s Electricity Connections Policy 2018-2027 which aims at scaling up access to power and clean energy throughout the country from the current 28 percent to about 60 percent by 2027 and to 80 percent by 2040.
To achieve this, annual connections from all power distributors must be ramped up to 300,000 while power generation needs to grow to 3,500 MW by 2025, and 41,000 MW by 2040. This will require maximum harnessing of Uganda’s hydroelectric power potential, estimated at 4,000 MW, largely along the Nile River as well as other potential energy sources, such as geothermal, solar, and nuclear, which are about 450 MW, 30,000 MW, and 1,000 MW respectively.
Babungi said that upon completion the project will enable the company to reliably connect about 250,000- 300,000 customers to the national grid per year.
The project is also expected to help with the distribution of electricity generated from the new Karuma hydropower plant which is being built on the Nile River by Chinese firm Sinohydro.
Umeme Limited accounts for about 97 percent of all electricity used in the East African country.