Umeme has confirmed that the increased electricity supply from Bujagali Dam is already making a positive impact on the economy through increased customer collections, new connections and fresh investments into the country.
Speaking with Business Vision on Tuesday, Umeme Managing Director, Charles Chapman, confirmed that the power utility has seen a significant raise in economic indicators, and said he believed the optimism would be reflected in the budget due to be read today.
"As the President and other government officials have often said, Electricity is a key driver of economic development in Uganda. After generation stepped up at the start of the year with Bujagali coming online, we have received a lot of positive feedback from both our large and small customers regarding their improved business operations. For us, it is clear that the tough times we all experienced last year have passed, and whereas now we are enjoying the good times, there are better days coming ahead," Chapman said.
Chapman said the electricity being received from Bujagali has increased to 150MW at peak, which has brought load-shedding at the current demand to zero.
"We have always explained to customers that provided we have enough electricity being generated, Umeme will distribute it all and there will be no load-shedding. We are continuing to invest in the distribution network so that we can provide a reliable, steady supply of electricity to all customers," he added.
Chapman said that as a result of the continued investment in the distribution network, Umeme had increased customers from 354,839 in 2009 to about 460,000 in 2011.
"The numbers are continuing to grow, and this means an increase in collections, which provide the funds required for the government to invest in more generation infrastructure to meet the rising demand for electricity," Chapman said.
Chapman said collections had risen to over Ushs80billion in the month of May 2012, up from Ushs51billion in May 2011.