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Parliament Okays Shs34bn Loan For Regional Power Supply

Uganda’s legislature has approved a supplementary loan request of 34 billion Shillings to finance the inter-connection of electric grids of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries Project (NELSAP).

Local news agency, URN reportst that the approved loan is a top up to the USD 12.4 million loan secured on May 13, 2009 from the African Development Bank to finance electricity transmission and inter-connectivity to neighboring countries. The countries include Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.

The project seeks to strengthen the Eastern Africa regional power grid, and facilitate power exchange within the region.

The approval of the new loan followed a debate on a report by parliament’s National Economy committee. The report indicates that the funds will be used to construct 131.2 Kilometers of 220 KV double circuit transmission lines from Bujagali via Tororo sub-station to the Uganda-Kenya border.

The other lines include 66.55 kilometers of 220 KV double circuit transmission lines from Mbarara North sub-station via new Mirama sub-station to the Uganda-Rwanda border and an extension of the 220 KV Bujagali switch-yard.

But Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga questioned the justification of the project saying that while government is considering this to promote regional trade and business, ordinary Ugandans are still in dire need and many of them are still struggling to have access to power supply.

URN

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