Uganda’s Umeme Limited has secured $70 million funding, money that will be geared towards funding infrastructure upgrades and expansion of the electricity grid network.
Investors who took part in the funding include International Finance Corporation (IFC), Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and the Dutch Development Bank.
According to the firm, they will use the funding to improve sections of the distribution network, increase grid connections and boost supply reliability. The works will be spread out across three years.
Additionally, the firm is also looking to improve the quality and reliability of supply in high growth areas. This will, therefore, double electricity connections to 3.2 million customers by 2025, and reduce energy losses to 13%.
Some of the improvement plans that are underway include The Karuma Hydro Power plant, a 600 MW power plant on River Nile. It is expected to be commissioned by February 2020, and will make Uganda’s total power generation hit nearly 2000MW. This will be in addition to the 83MW Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station that was commissioned early this year.
Since 2013, Umeme has invested over Shs1.7 trillion (US$ 460 million) in the distribution network, resulting into: growth in customers numbers to 1.4 million from 0.6 million customers, reduction in energy losses to 16.6% from 24.3%, rollout of prepaid metering to over 1 million customers, improved supply reliability, improved customer experience and efficiencies through the use of technology, and a 7% annual growth in electricity sales.Mr Selestino Babungi, Umeme Managing Director
Umeme Limited is the largest energy distributor in Uganda, distributing 97% of all electricity used in the country. The shares of the stock of the company are listed on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE) and are cross listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). It is also the largest shareholder is Uganda’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
Currently, Uganda’s national grid only serves 26% of the nation’s 44 million people.