Eskom Uganda has officially handed over the operations of Nalubaale and Kiira hydropower plants to the Government of Uganda as the energy firm’s 20-year contract comes to an end on March 31, 2023.
The power firm handed over the dams to officials from Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) and Ministry of Energy at a function held in Jinja City on Monday, 27 March 2023.
Speaking at the function, Eskom Managing Director Thozama Gangi said she was handing over a healthy power plant to Uganda.
“I am happy to report that Eskom is handing over a healthy plant to the government of Uganda. The plant’s availability stands at 99%. Nalubaale HPP can run for the next 20 years, and Kiira HPP (50 years),” she said.
UEGCL CEO Dr Eng. Harrison Mutikanga applauded Eskom Uganda for the work well done.
“Nalubaale will be 70 years old next year. So we would like to thank Eskom for maintaining and running this plant and keeping it healthy. UEGCL will officially start managing and running this plant on Saturday, April 1, 2023,” he said.
“As we take over the management and operation of these power stations on 1st April, we are committed to ensuring that they continue to provide reliable and affordable electricity to the people of Uganda,” Eng. Mutikanga added.
Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako, CEO of ERA, said Eskom is returning to the Government of Uganda much better and more efficient power generation facilities.
“The firm has managed the Nalubaale and Kiira HPP since April 1, 2003. The life of the plants has been enhanced for the next 30 to 50 years,” she said.
“From only 3 power plants, Uganda now has over 50 power generating plants. I would like to thank Eskom for their great contribution and investments in the electricity supply industry,” she added.
Peter Lokeris, the Minister of State for Minerals, said despite the handover, there are still ongoing public-private partnerships in the management of Uganda’s power sector.
“There is still a part for the private sector in Uganda’s energy value chain. As Eskomug re-transfers assets back to the Government, I want to think we still have a lot to do together. The new law creates an avenue for public-private partnerships,” said Mr Lokeris.
The takeover of Nalubaale is part of the wide-ranging second-generation electricity sub-sector reforms borne out of the Electricity (amendment) Act 2022, through which the government has also said it is not going to renew the Umeme concession in May 2025.
The Ministry of Energy has budgeted Shs26.4b as start-up capital for Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) to take over operations of the two dams from Eskom.