Boosting Power Trade and Regional Development: Uganda to develop 308km powerline to South Sudan.

The Governments of Uganda and South Sudan have signed a Power Sales Agreement (PSA) to boost power trade between the two countries and bring life to the border towns of Oraba, Elegu, Kaya and Nimule.

The development follows a December 2015 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries to develop the project.

Today’s Agreement will see the prioritization of the development of the 400kV Olwiyo – Juba Power Transmission line of 308km (138km on the Ugandan side and 170km in South Sudan) to facilitate power exchange between the two countries. The 400kV Power Substations of Olwiyo and Bibia (near Uganda’s Elegu border post), plus the Juba Substation, will also be expanded.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, on Tuesday (June 27) led the Uganda Government delegation to Juba for the execution, while her counterpart, Mr Peter Marcello Jelenge, represented the South Sudan government.

Uganda’s Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Ms Irene Bateebe, signed the PSA on Uganda’s behalf, while Mr Beck Awan Deng, the General Manager of South Sudan Electricity Cooperation (SSEC), signed on behalf of his country.

“Today’s signatures mark the beginning of serious cooperation in power trade between Uganda and South Sudan,” said Dr Nankabirwa.

“We would like to see projects that benefit both the people of Uganda and South Sudan…We will take power from small towns in Uganda, such as Elegu and Oraba. Similarly, the people at the border of such as Nimule and Kaya in South Sudan shall be supplied with power from Uganda.”

Project progress

  • 1.The 400kV Olwiyo-Juba Transmission Line will pick power from Olwiyo Substation, which is already operational at 132 kV.
  • 2. In the MoU signed between Uganda and South Sudan, the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Plan (NELSAP) was mandated to coordinate the joint development of the transmission line.
  • 3. A Joint Technical Committee has been established to plan and coordinate the project’s development.
  • 4. Uganda and South Sudan have secured funds for feasibility studies from African Development Bank (AfDB). AfDB would also finance the project based on EPC or Public Private Partnership, depending on the outcome of the feasibility study.
  • 5. A consortium of CESI S.p.A (Italy), ELC Electroconsult S.p.A. (Italy) and Colenco Consulting Ltd (Nigeria) has been procured to undertake the feasibility study, which commenced in March 2023 and will be completed in February 2024.
  • 6. The two countries also collaborate in the power distribution segment, where distribution networks have already been constructed in the Uganda-South Sudan border towns of Nimule and Kaya.
  • 7. Another PSA was executed between Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) and Juba Electricity Distribution Company Limited (JEDCO) to ensure seamless Nimule and Kaya power distribution.
  • 8. This cooperation will enhance regional productivity and support security along our border towns.