The Managing Director of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), Valentine Katabira, said the Ugandan government is working on interconnection to export electricity to South Sudan.
The interconnection is part of the government’s agenda to create a regional electricity sharing platform through which the East African community will achieve a stable power supply. Countries within the Community bloc established a collaborative effort under the Eastern Africa Power Pool, in which partner states within the region interconnect their electricity grids to take advantage of excess capacity within the network, to help countries with insufficient capacity to access the excess power at an affordable cost.
Uganda creates a surplus of 600 megawatts as its local demand is 600 megawatts and it generates 1,200 megawatts. Upon completion of the Karuma Hydro Power Dam, the country is to add another 300 megawatts.
The interconnection to South Sudan is to be completed next year. This will add the world’s youngest country to the list of countries benefitting from Ugandan power including Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and parts of eastern DR Congo.
He said, “The interconnection with South Sudan is in line with the East African Community policy of connecting each country to have power sharing grid for better supply.”
Also present at the meeting was Paul Mwesiga, the UETCL Executive Director, and Engineer Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Electricity Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer.
Mwesiga said the government plans to connect 6.4 million households on the national grid through oublic private partnerships, to extend power connection, mostly to rural areas. He said, “In order to do achieve government’s target of connecting these 6.4 million households before completion of the 2020/21 financial year, we need to embark on sustainable financing through public-private partnerships.”
Engineer Waako said, “The country is on a clear path to reduce electricity tariffs from 12.5 US cents to 3 US cents.”
According to details from the Bank of Uganda, the cumulative electricity export earnings for the year ended September dropped by 95% compared to the same period in 2019. It ended $25.64m (Shs96b) from $50m (Shs187b) in the same period ended August 2019
The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) attributed the decline to reduced demand, especially from Kenya.