Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni has said that Uganda needs more power to meet its plans for industrialization and other projects.
She told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday that with 25 Industrial parks across the country planned for construction, there will be need for a huge volume of power.
The parks are expected to consume up to 1000 MW by 2027. Currently, Uganda generates 1200 MW of power with an excess of about 200 MW not consumed. Muloni says that the current excess power will be absorbed as soon as the industrial parks are completed.
Muloni’s statement comes at a time when government has okayed a feasibility study to inform setting up a hydropower plant at Uhuru falls just adjacent to Murchison falls.
In July, the Electricity Regulatory Authority-ERA announced that a South African firm, Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Limited had applied for a license to construct a hydropower dam on Uhuru falls.
The announcement attracted public criticism that saw a campaign dubbed “Save Murchison falls’ run against the initiative saying it would disrupt the falls and affect the ecology and tourism in the area.
In August, government decided to halt any developments on the falls until last week when cabinet again decided that the company conducts a feasibility study to set up the project.
Muloni says cabinet considered the need to have the feasibility study undertaken because that is the only scientific way to determine the impact of the project on the environment, tourism and ecology at the proposed site.
Cabinet also approved the proposal to borrow up to 660 billion shillings from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to Finance the Development of Industrial Parks and Power Transmission Line Extension.
The main objectives of the project are to provide adequate capacity to supply the industrial developments in the gazetted industrial parks of Wobulenzi, Kaweweta, Luwero, Kapeeka, Mbale and Sukulu areas in the medium to long term and also improve power supply quality, reliability and security in the area to facilitate industrial activity growth and rural electrification in the area.