President Museveni and Chinese Investors Discuss Hydropower Projects

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today held a meeting with a delegation of Chinese investors, led by Mr. Yang Yi Xin, the Vice President of Sinohydro Corporation Limited at State House, Entebbe.

Sinohydro Corporation Limited, a Chinese state-owned hydro power engineering and construction company, was contracted by the Ugandan government to build the $1.5 billion (approximately Shs5.6 trillion) Karuma Hydropower station in Kiryandongo District.

During the meeting, President Museveni and the investors focused on how to enhance cooperation in hydropower projects within Uganda.

President Museveni expressed enthusiasm about the proposed ventures. 

“I am glad to hear about the Olwiyo-Nimule transmission project. That’s a very good idea if you have got the model of investing,” he said, before assuring the investors of the government’s support. 

Mr. Xin highlighted the significant strides made in the 400kV Olwiyo-Nimule transmission line and the associated substations project, emphasising its crucial role in Uganda’s power master plan.

He explained that the project entails the construction of a 138 km transmission line, expansion of Olwiyo and Karuma substations, and the construction of a new substation, with an estimated cost of around $180 million, and a project period of about 2 years.

“A Power Sales Agreement (PSA) was signed between the South Sudan and Uganda governments in June 2023, and the Government of Uganda has completed the feasibility study. We have also developed a Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this project,” Mr. Xin noted.

“With our extensive experience, we are very much willing to help develop this project with the required finance if needed. As part of the Karuma Project, Sinohydro/Powerchina has carried out the 379km 400kV/132kV transmission lines, which are Karuma-Kawanda, Karuma-Lira, and Karuma-Olwiyo lines, and also constructed four substations in Karuma, Olwiyo, Kawanda, and Lira.”

The discussion expanded to include the Kiba Hydropower Plant, poised to increase Uganda’s energy capacity significantly.

Mr. Xin further outlined the project’s scope, timeline, and estimated investment, affirming Sinohydro’s readiness to collaborate with the Ugandan government.

On the other hand, Mr. Lui Kai, the Vice President of Power Channel International, provided updates on the Karuma Hydropower Project’s progress, showcasing successful testing, commissioning, and synchronisation with the national grid.

“All three transmission lines and four substations have been tested, commissioned, and put into use by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) by 26th October 2023,” he said.

Mr. Kai also discussed the prospective redevelopment of Kilembe Mines, illustrating a comprehensive plan encompassing financing, exploration, feasibility studies, and infrastructure development.

Mr. Jiang Xiaodong, the Power Channel Country Manager, informed the President that Power China International Group Limited, currently represented in Uganda by Sinohydro Corporation Ltd as the Contractor, is working with the government of Uganda on the 600MW Karuma Hydropower Project.

“There are still potential business opportunities with the government of Uganda. The identified potential projects are as follows: Operation and Maintenance of the Karuma hydropower project, Redevelopment of Kilembe Mines, 400kV Olwiyo-Nimule transmission line and associated substations, Kiba Hydropower Plant, Upgrade and renovation of Nalubale Hydropower Plant, Upgrade and renovation of 132KV Mutundwe-Kabulaso, Kabulaso-Nkenge Nkenda-Nkenda transmission lines, upgrade of Mutundwe Substation and Kawanda Substation,” he added.