Country Eyes Uganda Power
Feb 6, 2008 - The Monitor/All Africa Global Media
Uganda could export significant amounts of electricity
to DR Congo in future, though the country is currently
grappling with severe energy shortages, the Minister
of Energy, has said.
Mr Daudi Migereko suggested at a meeting between
Ugandan and Congolese energy officials recently that
Uganda will by 2011 have stabilised its energy sector
and will be in a position to export to DR Congo between
50 mega watts (MW) to 160 MW of power.
"DRC is planning to import electricity from Uganda
for the towns close to the Ugandan border," said a
statement released by the Energy ministry.
It said the power export would materialise when
Uganda has started to generate thermal power from
the Heavy Fuel Oils to be produced in Western Uganda
around 2009. Plans for construction of a mini refinery
are now underway in Hoima District.
The ministry's assertion appears curiously implausible
since Uganda's energy needs, according to the Electricity
Regulatory Authority, are said to grow at 30 per cent
implying that by the time the new generating projects
(Bujagali, thermal and minihydros) come on board the
country's energy demand will have probably surpassed
the boosted supply capacity.
The meeting was convened as a follow-up to the Ngurdoto
(Tanzania) meeting between President Yoweri Museveni
and Mr Joseph Kabila of the DRC, that was meant to
defuse the tensions that were mounting on the border,
in part stoked by the newly discovered petroleum deposits
around the Lake Albert Basin, which both countries
"By 2011, Uganda will have an additional 460 MW of
which 50 MW will be from renewable energy resources
(small hydro projects and biomass) and 160 MW from
thermal sources," Mr Migereko said.
By some estimates, Uganda currently has a power deficit
of about 300 MW, which has accumulated through a neglected
generation sector and derelict transmission and distribution
lines that leak nearly 40 per cent of the power released
onto the national grid at the generation points.
Mr Migereko also said the development of Karuma has
been fast-tracked and would commence soon.