Uganda: Govt Promises Affordable, Dependable Electricity As Eskom Hands Back Nalubaale, Kiira Power Stations

28 March 2023
Nile Post News (Kampala)

After 20 years of operation, the Ugandan through the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited UEGCL) has taken over the operation of the Nalubaale and Kiira power stations from Eskom Uganda Limited.

The two power stations are now managed by Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), which will begin operations on April 1 as per the Concession and Assignment Agreement (CAA) on , 26,November 2002.

Under this agreement, UEGCL as the asset owner of Nalubaale (180MW) and Kiira (200MW) hydropower complex assigned its rights and interests in the asset to Eskom (U) Ltd (EUL) for a period of 20 years starting from the 1st April 2003 ending on Saturday April, 1, 2023.

Officiating at the retransfer event in Jinja, Okasaai Opolot , the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development applauded Eskom for having successfully operated these plants for over 20 years noting that the current concession period will therefore naturally expire on March 31, 2023 pursuant to the provisions of the concession and assignment agreement.

"It is however required that before the end of the concession term, Eskom re-transfers the complex to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited," he said.

In addition to the Concession and Assignment Agreement (CAA), government also signed a support agreement in November 2002 relating to the Nalubaale and Kiira hydropower complex which the minister said that provided for inter alia buy-out provisions at the termination of the CAA for a tenure of 20 years as provided for under Clause 2.1(a) of the Agreement which became effective on April,1, 2023.

He revealed that in order to facilitate the retransfer process and as per the support agreement, the Energy Ministry is undertaking an audit through the Office of the Auditor General to help inform government on any potential buy-out amount if any at the end of the concession period.

On the other hand, Eskom's Managing Director, Thozama Gangi, stated that Eskom handed over a healthy plant to government with a plant availability of 99%.

"Nalubaale HPP can run for the next 20 years, and Kiira HPP can run for the next 50," she said.

Upon takeover, the Chief Executive Officer of UEGCL, Dr. Harrison Mutikanga pledged to provide reliable and affordable electricity to Ugandans.

"As we take over the management and operation of these power stations on April, 1, we are committed to ensuring that they continue to provide reliable and affordable electricity to the people of Uganda," he said.

Officials said that Eskom exits after building an adequate local capacity that will be able to continue the proper operations and maintenance of the complex under UEGCL as a mechanism to ensure smooth continuity of service.

This website also established that UEGCL has also completed its recruitment process for the key staff who will take over the operations of the plant post the transfer date and reports indicate that over 96% of the Eskom staff have been taken over by UEGCL at same and or better employment terms than their current terms.

"These staff shall remain a critical valuable resource to the proper operation of the Nalubaale and Kiira complex post re-transfer to UEGCL," said government.

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