In East Africa, Uganda’s State minister for mineral development, Peter Lokeris, has stated that households living within a five-kilometre radius of the Kawanda-Masaka electricity transmission line are to be connected to the national grid free of charge.
According to local media the Monitor Lokeris said the project, which is now being launched in Matugga in Wakiso District, will also extend to Masaka, Bukomansimbi and Kalungu districts in central Uganda.
He said: “The initiative targets, initially, 3,000 customers. But you have to wire your home using people certified by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) – who know how to wire households.”
Umeme to deliver electricity
Lokeris further revealed that government has concluded a Shs3.5 billion ($103 million) arrangement with Umeme, which delivers power from the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited to the end-users.
It is reported that the project comes in the wake of concerns by some communities near electricity generation plants and transmission lines, complaining that they do not have access to power.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, only 22% of Ugandan households have access to electricity, the media reported.
Power utility applies for export licence
In June, ESI Africa reported that state-owned power utility, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), had announced its intentions of applying for a power generation licence to export surplus power from the Karuma Hydro Power Plant.
According to the company’s application report for the licence, observed by the Monitor, it stated that the power generated will be transmitted through a 400-kilovolt switchyard to the nearest proposed pooling station for onward transmission to energy deficient regions in Uganda.
The application further read: “When complete, the Karuma power station will generate 600MW of power that will be distributed locally and exported to neighbouring countries.”
ERA’s director of technical regulation, Ziria Tibalwa, added that exporting excess power would make business sense.