Africa News Bulletin

Busitema, Busia get Shs20b solar power plant

The Egyptian government has handed over a $5.4m (about Shs20b) 4MW solar power plant at Busitema University to the government of Uganda to ensure stable power supply.

While handing over the project last Tuesday, the Egyptian ambassador to Uganda, Mr Ashraf Mohamed Nabhan Swelam, described the project as a major achievement.

“This is one of the many projects the Egyptian government has fulfilled in Uganda, including a medical centre in Jinja with six Egyptian doctors fully paid by the Egyptian government.”

Ms Rebecca Kadaga, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, who was chief guest at the function, said Uganda and Egypt have a cordial relationship.

“This project is due to the warm relations between us and Egypt, which stretches from the 1950s due to the Nile we share, but also in 1964 when they established a mission here,” she said.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, said the initiative will enhance government commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental sustainability which will require a shift towards cleaner energy.

“While the project targets a connection to the national grid, it will provide power stability in this area and will be used for academic purposes and build the capacity of Ugandans in research and development in the field of solar energy,” she said.

Ms Irene Bateebe, the Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary, said the Egyptian government provided equipment, technical assistance and maintenance for at least a year, while the Ugandan government provided land, transport and tax obligations as well as shipment from Mombasa.

Ms Bateebe said the project will improve research and innovation.

“The installation of this solar plant comes with a lot of benefits to Uganda which includes among others increase of the share of clean renewable energy in our generation mix, corporate social reasonability that surrounding communities out of the earning from the sale of power,” she said.

According to Ms Bateebe, the project will be operated by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in partnership with Busitema University and Busia District.

About the project
The Ugandan Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy of the Arab Republic of Egypt entered into a bilateral agreement for the establishment of the 4MW solar project at Busitema University in May 2018.

The project will be connected to the national grid to supply reliable power.

Original story on Monitor.

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