China is a major financier of Uganda hydropower projects which the east African country says are helping boost its economic status, a new report released yesterday has shown.
The report by state owned Electricity Regulatory Authority(ERA) notes that China is financing construction of major hydropower plants and power evacuation lines in Uganda.
The annual report which looks at financial year 2018-2019 shows that Electricity
Supply Industry realized a Significant Increase in the Installed Generation Capacity, from 953.8 MW reported in the last Financial Year to 1,176.6 MW.
Chief executive officer Ziria Tibalwa Waako said that the greatest hydropower project commissioned in the period under review is Isimba power plant which was developed by the Government of Uganda; with 85% of the Project Costs financed with a Loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, and 15% financed by the Government of Uganda.
“The Electricity Generated from the Isimba Power Plant will be sold at US Cents 4.16/kWh (from year 1 to year 15) and US Cents 1.01/ kWh (after year 15), making it the cheapest in the Country, with the exception of the power from the 380 MW Nalubaale-Kiira Generation Complex,”said Eng. Ziria.
“The Isimba Plant is truly testimony that Public-Private Partnerships are a Crucial Building Block towards Sustainable Electricity Supply,” she added.
China is also financing the construction of the 600MW Karuma Hydropower Plant. The project, which is in its final stages, will substantially increase the power generated in the country, according to the report.
Eng. Ziria also said that Export-Import Bank of China is also financing the 248km, 400kV power evacuation lines from the Karuma power plant to Kawanda, near the capital Kampala. Chinese construction company, Sino Hydro was contracted to construct the transmission line.
Other Uganda hydropower projects under reviewin the same period include:Achwa, Siti, Kakaka,Kyambura, Bukinda among others.
Hydro Power continues to make the biggest contribution to the Generation Mix in Uganda, with the Bagasse Co-Generation, Thermal, and Solar Technologies slightly gaining more share of the Generation Mix.