South Africa’s Eskom returned two hydropower plants to Uganda’s government after Ugandan authorities declined to renew its licence. Eskom had been running the two plants located at the source of the River Nile at Jinja, about 90km east of Kampala under a 20-year concession signed in 2002.
The two plants have a combined installed capacity of 380 MW.
Ruth Ssentamu Nankabirwa, Energy Minister of Uganda, said that it would not renew Eskom’s licence as part of plans to reduce power costs. Part of these plans, she said, was to reduce private capital in the sector. She said: “We strongly believe that Eskom has built adequate local capacity that will be able to continue the proper operations and maintenance of the complex.” She added that state-run Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) will now operate the plants.
Uganda has a total installed capacity of about 1400 MW, due to rise when Karuma, a Chinese-built plant, also on the River Nile, is commissioned, scheduled for later this year.