Message from the CEO.
Dr. Eng. Harrison .E. MUTIKANGA
I welcome you to the UEGCL website as we celebrate 20 years of UEGCL under the theme “20 years of Generating for GENERATIONS”. It has been a great journey characterized by the exponential growth of UEGCL’s mandate and infrastructural developments. It will be recalled that UEGCL was borne out of a restructuring process, which led to the unbundling of the then UEB, and the creation of among others UEGCL in 2001. In 2003, the major assets of the Company (Kira 200 MW and Nalubaale 183 MW) were concessioned to ESKOM Uganda Ltd for a period of 20 years. UEGCL’s role was limited to monitoring the Concession performance with a paltry staff of about 38 persons. For most of the years since inception in 2001, UEGCL’s financial performance was abysmal with the company posting bottom line losses on the profit and loss account. This was partly because there was a mismatch between the revenues of the company and the assets that were being managed under the concession. In 2014, the Company’s mandate was expanded to include project development via a Ministerial Directive. Since then, UEGCL has made a number of strides. These include;
a) Two consecutive strategic plans were formulated for 3 years (2015-2018) and subsequently the 5-year Strategic plan for the period 2018 –2023. These have ably guided the activities of the Company.
b) Our human resource complement increased from 38 staff to currently 201 to meet our work demands. The biggest growth factor was the commencement of Operations and Maintenance of the Isimba (183MW) hydropower Plant under the jurisdiction of UEGCL.
c) Prudent Contract administration of the flagship projects, has since led to the fruition of the Karuma (600MW) hydropower project which is due for commissioning in June 2022. These have added to the energy mix within the country. Other ongoing projects include; Muzizi hydropower plant (48MW), Nyagak III (6.6MW), and the Maziba (1 MW) for which detailed feasibility studies have been completed and funds are being sought. Relatedly, UEGCL has formulated an Energy Mix Strategy that will see UEGCL explore other sources of Energy to include Solar, Geothermal, and Thermal. This will help in diversifying from the current high dependency on hydropower.
d) Consequent to the establishment of the above hydropower facilities, UEGCL is now focusing on consolidating its footprint in operation and maintenance of the Isimba HPP, and yet to be commissioned Karuma HPP. This will be a paradigm shift that shall see the Company operate sustainably and enabling her to contribute towards further development of the generation capacity in the country through leveraging her internal resources. UEGCL futuristic aspirations aim at operating the Karuma and Isimba plants as semi-autonomous Operation and Maintenance Business entities as opposed to the conventional Concession monitoring dispensation.
e) On the financial perspective, after more than a decade of loss-making, UEGCL made a turnaround and posted a bottom-line profit during the financial year ended June 2019. It is envisaged that this profit will be sustained with the increasing proficient O&M activities. UEGCL also plans to commence activities leading to its eventual listing on the Stock Exchange. Its short-term plans to achieve the latter include; restructuring of the UEGCL Balance Sheet, ability to bill for full costs in accordance with the Concession and Assignment Agreement (CAA), and finally, the build-up of history (not less than 3 years) of profitability and creditworthiness.
f) In the last twenty years, UEGCL made deliberate efforts in building strategic partnerships with These include; Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), College of Engineering, Design, Art, and Technology (CEDAT), Compagnie Nationale Du Rhone (CNR) a French Hydropower Utility, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), and the International Centre for Hydropower Development (ICH). These Partnerships were aimed at promoting the exchange of trainers, expertise, promotion of Research and Development, and capacity building through benchmarking of best practices.
g) UEGCL plans to establish a Hydropower Resource Centre as a Centre of excellence. The Centre will ensure continuous and cost-effective capacity building for Operations & Maintenance (O&M) within and beyond Uganda and most especially for Independent Power Producers. This will support government initiatives of providing employment to the youth. The resource center will also cater for coordinated research, innovation, benchmarking, training, and best practice sharing. It is envisaged that the Centre will eventually be self-sustaining offering practical insights and best practices in hydropower development and management.
h) In order to ensure process efficiency, UEGCL attained ISO 9001:2015 certification on 8th, June 2017, making it the first public company to attain this achievement. Our clamor for this certification was and remains an illustration of our unwavering commitment to improving and streamlining our various processes and activities in the company to enhance operational efficiency. Furthermore, UEGCL is to explore certification in other areas, such as Health and Safety, Asset Management, and Risk Management, given the value and magnitude of assets within the remit of the Company.
i) A number of initiatives are also underway to automate the operations of the Company. In this regard, UEGCL has benchmarked its operations with a number of utilities operating best practices in Asset Management, Dam Safety, and Cyber Security. In line with this, the coming years will focus on the acquisition of software tools required to support asset management and dam safety and build capacity in data analytics.
In conclusion, the outlook for UEGCL is very promising as the company edges towards achieving its Vision, Mission and Mandate. Critical activities will be hinged upon the streamlining of its operational and functional areas. This will be achieved through concerted stakeholder management efforts and continued quest for best practices. In line with UEGCL’s mandate of Project Development and Management of the existing and new generation Plants, the Company is contributing towards realization of the Governments Vision of a Transformed Ugandan Society from a Peasantry to a Modern and Prosperous Country within 30 years.