Power Africa in Uganda

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Power Africa has supported the development of 196.25 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation projects in Uganda. In addition, various firms have received U.S. Embassy support to move transactions forward. The page below gives an overview of the energy sector in Uganda, explains Power Africa's involvement and lists Power Africa’s financially closed transactions in the country, some of which are already online and generating critical electricity supply for the people of Uganda.

Aerial view of KIS hybrid thermal plant on Bugala Island in Uganda
The Kalangala Infrastructure Services hybrid thermal plant
Photo Credit: Power Africa

UGANDA ENERGY SECTOR OVERVIEW


Population: 44.27 million | WB Ease of Doing Business Index (1): 116 | GDP (2): $34.39 billion

Uganda’s favorable enabling environment and broad presence of private sector investment presents a unique opportunity to deliver on Power Africa goals. Uganda is one of the few sub-Saharan African countries to have liberalized and financially viable energy markets, with generation, transmission and supply segments unbundled since 2001. There is an independent Electricity Regulatory Authority that undertakes sector regulation and oversight. The largest distribution company, UMEME, is privately owned and has a 20-year concession for distribution and retail. The country, however, is divided into 13 rural service territories, and 6 of these are being managed by small distribution companies. Independent power producers (IPPs) currently account for nearly 60% of generation capacity. Issues with integrated planning and the financial ecosystem persist.

GENERATION CAPACITY

  • Installed Capacity (3): 1,291 MW
    • Hydro: 1,006 MW
    • Solar: 59 MW
    • Bio: 97 MW
    • Other/Diesel/HFO: 129 MW

Power Africa New MW to date at financial close: 196 MW

CONNECTIONS

  • Current Access Rate (4): 23%
    • Urban: 63%
    • Rural: 11%

Power Africa new connections: 1,586,548

 

Power Africa pipeline: For the most up to date information, DOWNLOAD the Power Africa Tracking Tool (PATT)

 

POWER AFRICA SUCCESS STORIES IN UGANDA


Connecting Kalangala: How USAID, Power Africa, and the Private Sector are Improving Lives in Uganda

Through Power Africa and USAID, the United States Government is increasing access to electricity for health centers and communities across Uganda. Improved access to electricity strengthen's Uganda's self-reliance, and capacity to manage COVID-19.

To boost connections and propel Bugala island’s economic trajectory, Power Africa and Kalangala Infrastructure Services (KIS) embarked on a productive use of energy (PUE) campaign in 2018 to increase activities that require power and provide a service. Power Africa and KIS conducted a survey to determine PUE opportunities on the island and the latent entrepreneurial capacity. With this information, KIS, with Power Africa grant support, executed a robust PUE promotional and training campaign. Through 12 workshops, KIS and Power Africa trained more than 256 business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to utilize electricity for better service provision, production, and commerce.

READ the full story on our blog

POWER AFRICA FINANCIALLY CLOSED TRANSACTIONS IN UGANDA


Updated: May 02, 2019

Achwa 2 HPP (Hydro – 42MW)

Financial Close Date: 05/17/2017
Commercial Operations Date: 04/02//2018
Estimated Project Cost: $110M
GPS Coordinates: 03°08′06″N 32°31′15″E
Overview: This run-of-river 42MW hydropower plant on the Achwa River in Uganda was built at a cost of $110 million and is expected to provide electricity to 35,000 Ugandans. The project was supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), with Power Africa providing a transaction advisor to the AfDB for the project. Power Africa Partner Berkeley Energy provided financing through its AREF fund, to which USAID is also a financial contributor


SM Hydro Limited (Hydro – 6.9MW)

Financial Close Date: 07/31/2018
Commercial Operations Date: 2021
Estimated Project Cost: $15.7M
Overview: The SM Hydro Limited project is developing a 6.9 MW run-of-river mini hydropower plant on the Muyembe River in eastern Uganda under a build, own, operate agreement. The electricity generated will be transferred to the national grid and sold to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited under a 20-year PPA. Power Africa and USAID are providing a loan guarantee from Standard Chartered, a Power Africa Partner, to East and Southern Africa Trade Bank (TDB, formerly known as "PTA Bank"), which provided an $11 million facility loan to SM Hydro Ltd. for this project. The SM Hydro project reached financial close in July 2018 and is expected to be commissioned in 2021.


Kyambura (Hydro – 7.6MW)

Financial Close Date: 08/30/2017
Commercial Operations Date: 04/01/2019
Estimated Project Cost: $26.2M
Overview: Power Africa development partners, Government of Norway, DFID, the EU, and the World Bank supported this run-of-river hydro power plant in Kyambura through the GET-FIT program. USAID also provided transaction advisory services to the developer.


Lubilia Power Project (Hydro – 5.4MW)

Financial Close Date: 06/30/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 04/07/2018
Estimated Project Cost: $18.7M
Overview: Power Africa development partners, Government of Norway, DFID, the EU, and the World Bank supported this run-of-river hydro power plant through the GET-FIT program.


Muvumbe (Hydro – 6.5MW)

Financial Close Date: 11/30/2015
Commercial Operations Date: 03/27/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $14.1M
Overview: Power Africa partners, the Government of Norway, DfID, the Government of Germany, the EU, and the World Bank supported this run-of-river hydro power plant through the GET-FIT program, with a planned installed capacity of 6.5 MW and 31 GWh annual production. The project located is in Kabale district and includes an investment of USD 14.1M with USD 4.5M in GFPPM commitments.


Nyamwamba (Hydro – 9.2MW)

Financial Close Date: 03/31/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 08/30/2018
Estimated Project Cost: $26.8M
Overview: This run-of-river hydropower plant has an installed capacity of 9.2 MW and produces 39 GWh annually. An investment of $26.8 million was made, including $5.8 million in GET FiT commitments. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in June of 2014, but flooding damaged critical access infrastructure. This required a redesign of the scheme and resulted in significant delays. Nyamwamba was commissioned in August 2018 and relies on a 17 km dedicated medium voltage line for interconnection to the national grid that was constructed by REA.


Rwimi (Hydro – 5.5MW)

Financial Close Date: 12/31/2015
Commercial Operations Date: 10/31/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $20.8M
Overview: Located in Kasese district, this run-of-river hydropower plant has a planned installed capacity of 5.5 MW and an estimated annual production of 27 GWh. An investment of $20.8 million has been made, including $3.9 million in GET FiT commitments. The project reached financial close and construction began in September 2015. Due to delays caused by unusually high flows during dry seasons, construction lasted 27 months.


Sindila / Butama SHP (Hydro – 5.25MW)

Financial Close Date: 01/30/2017
Commercial Operations Date: 03/30/2019
Estimated Project Cost: $18.5M
Overview: The project comprises construction and operation of the 5.25 MW Sindila Mini-Hydropower Station on the Sindila River in the Bundibugyo District of western Uganda. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation contributed towards the development costs of this project through the Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative, which involved multiple Power Africa Partners including KMR Infrastructure, the EU, World Bank, Government of Norway, and DFID. Power will be carried 5.7 km to the national grid on a new 33 kilovolt (kV) overhead transmission line to be constructed by the Rural Electrification Agency. The project is undergoing pre-commissioning dry-runs.


Siti I (Hydro – 6.1MW)

Financial Close Date: 12/31/2015
Commercial Operations Date: 04/30/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $14.8M
Overview: Siti I is an operational run-of-river hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 6.1 MW and produces an estimated 29 GWh annually. An investment of $14.8 million was made, including $3.6 million in GET FiT commitments. The power station will be located across the River Siti, in Bukwo District of northeastern Uganda, near the shared border with Kenya.


Siti II (Hydro – 16.5MW)

Financial Close Date: 12/30/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 06/31/2019
Estimated Project Cost: $34M
Overview: This run-of-river hydropower plant has a planned installed capacity of 16 MW and estimated production of 72 GWh annually. It is immediately downstream of its sister power station, Siti I.


Soroti I & II (Solar – 10MW)

Financial Close Date: 01/31/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 12/12/2016
Estimated Project Cost: $27M
Overview: This project with ground mounted solar PV power plants has a peak capacity of 10 MW and an average annual energy production of 17.6 GWh. The project involved an investment of $27 million, including $9.5 million in GET FiT commitments, and was developed by the consortium of Power Africa Partner Access Power and EREN RE/ TSK Electronica. The project was financed by a mix of debt and equity with the senior debt facility being provided by FMO (the Netherlands Development Bank) and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF).


Tororo South & North (Solar – 10MW)

Financial Close Date: 09/30/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 09/30/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $19.6M
Overview: This 10 MW ground mounted solar photovoltaic power plant has a peak capacity of 10 MW and an average annual energy production of 16.7 GWh. The project involved an investment of $32 million, including $8.6 million in GET FiT commitments. The facility agreement was signed in September 2016 with Dutch development bank FMO and Building Energy announced that the financial close for the project has been completed.


Waki Power Project (Hydro – 4.8MW)

Financial Close Date: 09/30/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 05/30/2019
Estimated Project Cost: $18.1M
Overview: This run-of-river hydropower plant has a planned installed capacity of 4.8 MW and an estimated 25 GWh in annual production. Financial close was in November 2016 with an investment of $18.1 million with $3.6 million in GET FiT commitments. All agreements for the project have been signed and the developer launched early construction activities in April 2015. The project struggled to clear environmental and social CPs and the early construction phase has seen environmental issues that require further follow up. After the delays, construction resumed in late 2018 and commissioning is expected in the first half of 2019.


Sources

  1. https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings 
  2. https://data.worldbank.org/country/uganda
  3. https://www.africa-energy.com/database/datatool
  4. https://www.iea.org/reports/sdg7-data-and-projections/access-to-electricity

Last updated: December 15, 2020

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