Ugandans to pay Shs100 more for Isimba power

By Nelson Wesonga:

Ugandans will pay Shs217 for the 183–megawatt Isimba hydro power project’s power, which is Shs73 more than earlier thought.

Different Energy officials had in the past told Ugandans Isimba’s generation tariff will be  Shs 144 the equivalent of 6 US cents per unit.

However, speaking during the Independence Day celebrations in Bushenyi yesterday, president Museveni said Nalubaale is US¢4 per unit, Kiira is ¢4, Agago will be¢6, Karuma will be ¢5, Isimba will be ¢6.

Bujagali’s power has the cost of ¢11 (Shs398) per unit which the president promised to sort out.

He explained that the people who negotiated on Uganda’s behalf for the Bujagali project ‘opted for expensive money’.

To rectify their mistake, Mr Museveni said his government is working to refinance Bujagali Dam with cheaper loans with a longer tenure.

Some critics have in the past said it is prudent to borrow money to repay Bujagali Dam’s now outstanding $470 million debt.

When the idea of refinancing Bujagali was first floated two years ago thereabouts, an official at the Treasury dismissed it.

The official said it would be better to use the money that would have gone to refinance Bujagali to build another power plant, and that Uganda should just wait out the Bujagali contract to end.