KAMPALA – The central theme for the 2016 – 2021 NRM manifesto is “taking Uganda to modernity through job creation and inclusive development”. The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has been able to contribute towards this central theme that seeks to take Uganda to a competitive middle-income country from a predominantly low-income society in the following ways; extensive electricity network extension, geographical equitable distribution of electricity and initiating a free connection program, all of which will ensure socio-economic development and thus improving the quality of life of Ugandans. The Agency has boosted the power supply quality through system improvement, facilitated the development of local industries including tourism through the deliberate provision of electricity to productive activities and areas with high economic growth potential, built local technical capacity and facilitated local industries for the electricity subsector, supported public-private participation in electrification and contributed towards a resilient environment and societies.
To date, the Agency has realized the construction of about 15,000km of Medium Voltage (MV) power lines and over 10,000 km of Low Voltage (LV) distribution power lines. This has greatly contributed to the connections of over 1,000,000 customers onto the national grid and an increment in the rural electrification access rate from 1% in 2001 to over 20% in 2020. Grid extension to the remaining two on land district headquarters, that is Kotido and Kaboong, is in the final stages of implementation while the island of Buvuma District is awaiting funding in the next financial year.
In addition, about 6,000km of MV power lines and 5,000km of LV power lines are under implementation while 1,500 km of MV power lines and 2,000km of LV power lines are under procurement.
In October 2019, the Project for “Bridging the Demand-Supply Balance Gap Through the Accelerated Rural Electrification Program”, that is electrification of all administrative headquarters including sub-county headquarters, town councils and division headquarters commenced, with contractor mobilization to site, survey and construction. Under the project, over 4,000km of medium voltage networks and over 6,000km of low voltage network shall be constructed, electrifying 620 administrative centers (558 sub-county headquarters, 10 Divisional and 52 unserved Town Council headquarters countrywide. Currently, implementation is on-going in the 22 districts forming the first phase. Technical commissioning has already taken place on some of the schemes in Kiboga, Kumi, Kapchorwa and Kyegegwa.
The Agency is also implementing the Electricity Connection Policy (ECP) that was approved by Government in January 2018. Under this policy, the Government subsidizes the cost of connection materials, enabling citizens that are ready for electricity consumption to access free connection materials. Over 300,000 connections are targeted annually.
Alongside these projects, the Agency is also implementing grid intensification and densification projects aimed at connecting areas with suppressed demand within the existing national grid footprint. This project targets the connection of underserved load centers and load centers within a 2km footprint of the existing grid, through transformer injections, expansion of the low voltage reticulation network and short expansions of the medium voltage network, majorly targeting highly populated areas such as municipalities, divisions and busy trading centers countrywide.
REA is also facilitating the evacuation of various small hydropower plants countrywide, including about 14 projects implemented through the GET FiT program.
In the reporting period, REA setout to implement specific schemes as part of the NRM manifesto 2016-2021. Over 70% of these projects have been completed, with the remaining currently under construction and shall be due for completion by the end of 2020. There are also other projects being implemented or planned with firm funding that came after the NRM Manifesto was compiled.
Performance of Grid Extension projects for the NRM manifesto 2016-2021
1. Small to Medium scale power networks in various districts of Uganda under the Community and Government of Uganda Cost Sharing model. These projects, implemented within fourteen (14) districts, were at a cost of Ug. Shs 5,195,848,543.5. The districts include Mpigi, Mukono, Kabarole, Bushenyi, Wakiso, Gulu, Arua, Luuka, Nakasongola, Rukungiri, Butambala, Kibaale, Sembabule and Luwero.
All the schemes were commissioned in November, 2017 and handed over to different Network operators including; UMEME, UEDCL and WENRECO for maintenance and operation.
2. RE Schemes implemented with World Bank funding under ERT II at a cost of USD 4,550,839.15 covers the four districts of Nwoya, Hoima, Isingiro and Ntungamo.
All the schemes were commissioned in October 2016 and handed over to the respective Network operators for maintenance and operation.
3. RE Schemes implemented under the French Funding (AFD) through a loan worth 42.9million Euros, and a grant from the infrastructure Trust Fund (ITF) from the European Union worth 8.3 million Euros and and the contribution from GoU worth 8.3 million Euros. The works covered twenty-four (24) districts divided into five (5) lots, depending on the service territories. The districts include; Kiryandongo, Hoima, Kibaale, Masindi, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, Isingiro, Lwengo, Rakai, Masaka, Bukomansimbi, Lyantonde, Sembabule, Kiruhura, Kyegegwa, Kasese, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Rubirizi, Buhweju, Mitooma, Bushenyi and Sheema.
Construction works under the original scope of works were completed early 2018 and commissioned. However, the EPC contracts were amended to cover additional works within the project areas.
4. RE Schemes implemented using Islamic Development Bank funding are under three phases including; IDB I covering seven (7) districts, twenty-two (22) districts, IDB II covering 22 districts and IDB III covering forty-seven (47) districts.
The IDB I district include; Amudat, Napak, Moroto (including the cement factory), Kotido, Kaboogo, Abim & Nakapiripirit. This project was financed through a loan obtained from Islamic Development Bank (IDB) worth USD 18.81million. Of this amount, US$ 15.61 million shall be funded by IDB and US$ 3.2 million shall be funded by GoU. The grid extensions on this project were divided into two lots;
The 33kV line from Moroto-Nakapiripirit, Moroto-Moroto cement factory and Moroto-Katikekile (156.5km of MV, 17.65km of LV, 18 transformers and 700 initial connections) with Additional schemes in Amudat and Nakapiripirit (46.9km HV, 18.34km LV, 23 transformers and 230 initial connections).
While the 33kV line from Moroto-Kotido-Kabong, Kotido-Abim with tee-off to Kacheri (391km of MV, 76.05km of LV, 47 transformers and 1,312 initial connections) with Additional schemes in Namakora-Karenga-Kidepo (115km MV, 27.95km LV, 17 transformers and 170 initial connections
5. The IDB II districts include; Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, Rukungiri, Mbarara, Ibanda, Mitooma, Rubirizi, Ntungamo, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, Kabarole, Agago, Kitgum, Pader, Apac, Soroti, Katakwi, Dokolo, Lira, Kole and Tororo. These works are implemented through two EPC contracts. overall progress to-date is about 85% completion. Commissioning is expected in October 2020. This project was financed through a loan obtained from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) worth USD 38.62 million. The grid extensions on this project were divided into two including; The 33 kV sub-transmission lines from the existing 132 kV Opuyo – Moroto Transmission Line: 33 kV Overhead lines totaling to 465.06 km line; Low Voltage Overhead lines totaling 338.19 km; 211 33/0.4 kV Distribution Substations; and 5400 Last-Mile Customer Connections.
While the other Lot is the 33 kV sub-transmission lines from the proposed 132 kV Mirama – Kabale Transmission Line totalling to 531.08km; Low Voltage Overhead lines totaling 584.54km; 377 33/0.4 kV Distribution Substations; and 14,250 Last-Mile Customer Connections.
6. The IDB III districts include; Nakaseke, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Luwero, Wakiso, Mpigi, Gomba, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi, Mityana, Buikwe, Mukono, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Kiruhura, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Hoima, Kibaale, Kabale, Kisoro, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Sheema, Masindi, Mayuge, Namayingo, Bugiri, Kween, Kapchorwa, Kumi, Ngora, Bukedea, Serere, Sironko, Pallisa, Kibuku, Manafa, Budaka, Amolatar, Alebtong, Lira, Nebbi, Lamwo, Kitgum, Oyam and Moyo.
This project was financed through a loan obtained from IDB worth USD 70.73 million. Of this amount, USD 70.73 million is funded by IDB and US$ 6.80 million is funded by GoU. The grid extensions on this project were divided into six lots and thus implemented as six contracts. Currently, all the works are currently on-going with the overall progress of over 95% completion. The last schemes shall be commissioned in June 2020.
7. RE Schemes implemented under BADEA / OFID II Funding. Covers seven (7) districts of Kamuli, Buyende, Kayunga, Jinja, Iganga, Mukono and Buikwe.
This project was financed through a loan obtained from BADEA/OFID worth USD 33 million. Of this amount, USD 15 million is funded by BADEA, USD 15 million is funded by OFID and USD 3 million is funded by GoU. The grid extensions on this project were divided into four lots.
The original scope of works has been completed and commissioned. The schemes have been handed over to the respective Network operators for operation and maintenance.
However, the contracts were amended to implement additiobnal scope within the project areas. These works have also been completed and commissioned.
8. RE Schemes packaged under World Bank Funding – ERT III. Cover the thirty (30) districts of Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Mubende, Gomba, Butambala, Mukono, Jinja, Butaleja, Mbale, Bududa, Busia, Iganga, Namutumba, Kamwenge, Ibanda, Kibaale, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Ntoroko, Kole, Alebtong, Otuke, Kaberamaido, Dokolo, Agago, Soroti and Amuria.
This project is financed through a loan obtained from WORLD BANK/IDA worth USD 99.2 million. Of this amount, USD 15 million is funding by WORLD BANK / IDA and USD 19.2 million is by GoU. The lines are packaged under two catergories as follows;
- a) Fast Track- Four lines
The contractors for works are on ground and implementation of works is at 30%. Completion of works is expected by end of December, 2020.
- b) 5 packages (A, B, C, D & E) – 17 lines
Package B, C, D & E totalling to eleven (11) lines were approved by the funder and they are still under procurement. Contract signature is expected by end of June, 2020. Package A consisting of 6 lines is under preparation for procurement under GoU funding.
9. RE Schemes implemented under the Uganda Rural Electricty Access project (UREAP) is through a loan from the African Development Bank Funding (AfDB) worth USD 100million and a grant worth USD 11.205million. The project covers the seventeen (17) districts of Nakasongola, Kiryandongo, Luwero, Wakiso, Kaliro, Iganga, Luuka, Bugweri, Gulu, Nwoya, Amuria, Ngora, Bukedea, Manafa, Mbale, Alebtong, Soroti and Serere.
The grid extensions on this project were packaged into six lots. All the contractors have mobilized on ground and completion of works is expected by December 2021. Works are at 40% completion.
Under this funding a project to connect Kalangala Island to the grid using a submarine cable has been packaged and is under procurement. Contract signature was in March 2020
10. RE Schemes implemented using the Abu Dhabi Funding covers the seven (7) districts of Kalungu, Bukomansimbi, Mpigi, Masaka, Lyantonde, Bukomansimbi and Kiruhura.
This project is financed through a loan obtained from the Abduhabi Fund worth USD 11million. Of this amount, USD 9.74million is funded by Abduhabi Fund and USD 1.26million is from GoU.
Both EPC contracts have been signed and the contractors have commenced works. Completion is expected by end of December 2020. Works completion is at 60%.
11. Additionally, HE pledged to the sub-counties project. This project commenced in October 2019. The project for “Bridging the Demand-Supply Balance Gap Through the Accelerated Rural Electrification Program”, covers over 4,000km of medium voltage networks and over 6,000km of low voltage network. This covers 620 administrative centers, 558 sub-county headquarters, 10 Divisional and 52 unserved Town Council headquarters countrywide
To date the contractor has mobilization to site, survey and construction. Currently, implementation is on-going in the 22 districts forming the first phase. Technical commissioning has already taken place on some of the schemes in Kiboga, Kumi, Kapchorwa and Kyegegwa.