The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) is mandated to establish, promote the development, strategically manage and safeguard the rational and sustainable exploitation and utilization of energy and mineral resources for social and economic development.
The Ministry and its development partners have over years implemented a number of projects that are aimed at not only reducing load shedding but also providing power to different parts the country. In this regards, the 3.5MW Nyagak 1 hydropower plant will today be commissioned.
The construction of the mini hydro power plant was started in 2006. To f nalise the construction, it was in July 2010 contracted to Spencon Services Limited for civil works, VS Hydro for electrical mechanical and Fichtner; the German company as the main Consultant.
The long awaited 3.5 MW Mini hydro power plant is a Public Private Partnership between the Industrial Promotion Services and the Government of Uganda.
The project was implemented by West Nile Rural Electrification Company Limited (WENRECO) and financed by the Government of Uganda, the German Government through KfW and the World Bank. The mini hydro power plant will serve West Nile districts which include Zombo, Nebbi, and Arua Districts.
The commissioning function will be presided over by His Excellency the President who will tour around the dam, inaugurate it and also do the ground breaking for the West Nile grid extension project. Why Nyagak 1 hydropower plant was constructed.
The West Nile districts have for long been isolated from the national grid. So, there was need to construct a mini grid to supply the surrounding areas instead of extending the main grid which would have not only been costly, but also take a very long time and would be associated with high energy losses and power interruptions given the long distance from Jinja.
Government's effort to provide power to West Nile region The dependence on power generated from isolated diesel generators increased the cost of doing business in the region and this provoked the government to intervene and provide affordable energy.
Government started by installation of a 1.4MW Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) generator but this, could run for 18hours or less. The thermal plant that was expensive, characterized by load shedding and unsustainable.
The energy from the thermal plant had to be heavily subsidized by Government to make it affordable to the public. This, was a big a hindrance to the development of the region given that affordable energy is crucial to social and economic development.