By Julius Businge
France and the government of Uganda have signed a concessionary loan agreement totaling to about $23m to finance the construction of the Nkenda-Fort Portal-Hoima transmission line to evacuate electricity from the proposed thermal power plant at Mputa oil field in Hoima.
The 220 kV line is also being co-financed by the Norwegian grant of $54m, officials said on Oct. 31 at the ministry of finance headquarters in Kampala.
Uganda will meet the costs related to compensation and resettlement action plans estimated at $19m.
Finance minister Maria Kiwanuka applauded the partners and assured them that the loan will properly be used to meet the intended objectives. The support will extend electricity to the “western axis” where oil activities are ongoing.
Sophie Makame, the newly appointed France ambassador to Uganda said the loan is in response to the energy needs of Uganda’s population through adequate transmission facilities and improve the quality and security of power supply with the project areas and regionally.
She said the support is expected to increase economic activity and improve social services for the improvement of lives of the citizens and contribute further to poverty alleviation in the country.
Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) will implement the construction of the transmission line project which is expected to last 20-30 months.