Inside Uganda, Tanzania power lines deal

Uganda and Tanzania have committed to building the 400kV Masaka-Mutukula-Kyaka-Nyakanazi-Mwanza transmission line. Uganda will sell surplus power, and Tanzania will meet its demand for electricity.

During her two-day state visit to Kampala last week, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and her Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding for the development of the 400kV transmission line linking the two countries.

Uganda’s Minister for International Affairs Henry Okello Oryem and Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation Liberata Mulamula signed the MoU on behalf of their respective countries.

Officials of the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) said it is too early to talk about the start, cost and completion details.

“The MoU has just been signed meaning there is nothing really done yet [before] there is sourcing for funding, feasibility studies and all,” said Pamela Nalwanga Byoruganda, the UETCL spokesperson.

With additional generation from Karuma and other smaller hydropower plants, Uganda’s total installed capacity will increase to nearly 2000MW, up from the current 1,346.6MW, against the country’s peak demand for electricity, of 794MW, the Electricity Regulatory Authority said.

High demand

Tanzania’s electricity demand is growing at an annual rate of 13.82 percent, and will outstrip the country’s installed capacity,

According to the Global Transmission Report, Tanzania’s power needs are expected to rise from 10,176GWh in 2022 to 28,663GWh in 2030, which requires approximately 9,000MW of new generation added to the grid in the next eight years.

According to UETCL, Uganda exports electricity to Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan,

In the period between June 2020 and June 2021, Uganda exported a total of 294.1MW, which earned the country $26.84 million, up from $24.5 million earned from 246.3MW exported the previous year, a Bank of Uganda report for the sector shows.

The central bank said that export receipts have showed growth in recent years, with Kenya being the biggest exporter.

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