Museveni Vows To Bring Electricity Costs Down

Electricity generation and distribution has improved from just 60mgws in 1986 to 850mgws in 2015 INTERNET PHOTO Electricity generation and distribution has improved from just 60mgws in 1986 to 850mgws in 2015

The government of Uganda is working towards harmonizing electricity tariffs and make the utility product cheap for both domestic and manufacturing, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said Tuesday during his State of the Nation Address at Serena Hotel in Kampala.

Currently the two leading producers of electricity Nalubaale and Bujagali sell electricity at different prices.  Nalubaale sells at 1.04 US cents per unit while Bujagali is at 11UScents per unit. These prices are still on the high. Consumers especially manufacturers continue to complain saying these high prices leave them will little profit.

“By a combination of measures, we shall resolve this handicap in a win-win way. The future electricity stations, especially, the big ones, will never be expensive in the same way.” The president stated.

The cost of power and supply deficit have been a mainstay despite the power generation capacity and volume increasing. The supply is increasing with every project government is undertaking. Uganda now has a generation capacity of 850mgws of electricity compared to the 60mgws of 1986.

President Museveni promised that an extra 1000mgws of electricity will be added onto the national grid in the next five years by working on Karuma, Isimba, the minihydros, the geo-thermal in Lake Katwe, the gas-powered stations and those using HFO (Heavy Fuel Oil).

“We already have a surplus of 100mgws during even the peak hours in the evening (6:00p.m to 10:00p.m). At night only 350mgws is consumed. During the off-peak hours of the day, 500mgws are consumed. Therefore, during the night hours after 10:00 p.m., the surplus is 500mgws.

“That is why I would encourage some factories to work at night. The only problem we have are the high prices of electricity caused by the expensive money the Bujagali developers used. We shall get a solution for it.

“With this better base of electricity and the improved roads, we are now, for the first time, in a position to decisively tackle the haemorrhage by attracting and incentivizing investors that will save the huge money in dollars that we are currently donating to India, China, UAE, Japan, EU, USA, etc. ─ a total of US$5.528 billion per year.

“This huge amount of money goes for textiles (US$888million), leather goods (US$0.22million), fruit products (US$20.2million), second hand cars (US$568.7million), carpets, etc. etc. All these can now be made here.

“Fortunately, the investors are there. They just need a good atmosphere for investing. What is the good atmosphere needed? First of all, now that the electricity is abundant, we need to ensure that it is cheap for, at least, manufacturing ─ not more than 5 US cents per unit. This, we have started implementing.” The president confirmed.

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