December 9, 2020 (KAMPALA) – Government is working on an interconnection to export electricity to South Sudan, a Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) official disclosed.
UETCL’s Managing Director, Valentine Katabira told reporters in Kampala Wednesday that the interconnection is part of the agenda to create a regional electricity sharing platform through which the East African Community achieves stable power supply.
“The interconnection with South Sudan is in line with the East African Community policy of connecting each country to have power sharing grid for better supply,” he remarked.
Currently, Uganda generates 1,200 megawatts with local demand of 600 megawatts, which creates surplus of about 600 megawatts.
The landlocked country, officials say, is expected to add another 300 megawatts with the completion of Karuma Hydro Power Dam.
The interconnection to South Sudan, according to set to UETCL, which will allow Uganda to export electricity to another East African country, is expected to be completed next year.
Uganda currently exports electricity to Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and parts of eastern the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Meanwhile, UEDCL’s Executive Director, Paul Mwesiga revealed that Uganda’s government plans to connect 6.4 million households on the national grid through public private partnerships.
“In order to do achieve government’s target of connecting this 6.4 million households before completion of the 2020/21 financial year, we need to embark on sustainable financing through public-private partnerships,” he said, adding, “It is important that more households are connected in order to have a reduction in tariffs”.
The connections are estimated at $ 6.5b as part of government’s agenda to extend power connection, especially to rural areas.
South Sudan has one of the lowest electricity access, with more than 90 percent of the population lacking access to electricity. Additionally, over 70 percent of businesses in South Sudan reportedly depend on diesel-powered generators to operate, while most families rely on kerosene to light up homes.