On this UEGCL website, you will read about the tremendous steps we are taking in delivering our Vision and Mission. “To be the leading power producer in the Great Lakes Region” and “To sustainably generate reliable and affordable electricity for socio-economic development,” are our Vision and Mission respectively.
Suffice it to say that these have included; a robust buttressing of our Human Resources, unrelenting Contract administration of the flagship projects, strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in financing and academia, the quest for ISO certification in tandem with international best practices, and a rebrand of UEGCL etc. As you will deduce from this publication, ours is a continuous quest in finding the right balance between internal and external processes, underpinned by performance management in all our processes, and cordial partnerships with all our stakeholders both internal and external. As is the case, our aspirations are appended to the National Strategic Policy guidelines as enshrined in the National Development Plan II, the Vision 2040,and H.E the President’s Manifesto, all which are geared towards transforming Uganda’s economy from a predominantly peasant to a middle-income status. The President’s message on the need for affordable and reliable electricity cannot be more emphasized.
Last year was quite an eventful one for us at UEGCL and was pivotal to implementation of our 3-year Strategic Direction (2015 – 2017). In the first year 2015, our activities were focused on laying the foundation for the implementation of the Strategic Direction, and this was followed by a full blown implementation of the Plan in 2016.
It’s all hands on deck in as far as our core mandate of ensuring the efficiency of the Kiira/Nalubaale Hydro-power complex through the effective monitoring of the concession. The complex currently under ESKOM operates at an average of 97% to 99%, despite the challenges associated with an aging structure. We have, in the pipeline, short and long term investments planned to ensure the posterity of this strategic national asset.
Despite the challenges we faced with quality assurance issues on the flagship projects of Karuma (600 MW) and Isimba (183 MW), l am glad to report that significant progress was realized in these projects. Both are over 50% in terms of physical construction, and a picturesque impression tells it all. Indeed the challenges were an opportunity which rallied all stakeholders to seek amicable solutions to mitigate the looming catastrophe. Our current focus is to ensure that the projects are implemented taking into account the three elements of Quality, Cost and Time.
Beyond Karuma and Isimba, I have the pleasure to inform you that progress on the Muzizi (44.7MW) and Nyagak III (5.4MW) is looking good with the bulk of the civil works slated to commence next year. We are also prospecting with a couple other small hydros in line with our policy of diversifying our Generation portfolio to include plants that can serve the needs of the remote and rural areas. As a Company, we have also made the first steps towards implementing our Energy mix strategy to include other renewable energy sources such as Solar and Geothermal.
A key milestone during the year was undertaking of preparatory plans for the eventual Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of the flagship hydro-power plants under construction. This culminated in the Board approval of an O&M Strategy and Business model which is indigenous in nature and will result in efficient and cost effective operations capable of ensuring that UEGCL meets all its obligations including debt servicing of loans. In partnership with the private sector, our goal is to increase the installed generation capacity to such levels as to make the ambitious NDP II Goals realistic. For Uganda to attain middle-income status by 2020, the NDP II has set targets for electricity access at 30 per cent and average consumption at 578 kWh per capita. Currently these stand at 20.4 per cent and 80 kilowatt-hours per capita (kWh per capita) for the financial year 2012/13 respectively.
To achieve these numbers, the Uganda Government needs to prioritize and fast-track the development of the proposed four cascade hydro-power plants along the River Nile, that is, Ayago (840MW), Oriang (392MW), Kiba (288MW), and Murchison (648MW).
The experience UEGCL is garnering from Karuma and Isimba serves to make us the natural implementing agency on all these projects. The above successes, plans, and prospects have been registered and hope to be achieved through strategic partnerships with our stakeholders who are both state and non-state actors. We remain indebted to the technical and other assistance from the Electricity Regulatory Authority, Ministries of Finance, Planning and Economic Development as well as that of Energy and Mineral Development. In a special way, I wish to recognize and laud the development cooperation from our partners KfW, Afd and the Norwegian embassy. The rather uphill tasks of our contractors, consultants, and supervisors at the various sites cannot be over emphasized while the local government and communities where our projects are located continue to be ever hospitable to our site teams and supportive to our project development. I thank you!
On the Governance perspective, our former Board Chairperson, Dr. Stephen Robert ISABALIJA was appointed Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. We congratulate him and we are glad his vast responsibilities include our operations. This resulted in a change of guard in our Board of Directors which is now fully constituted and is headed by the indefatigable Eng. Proscovia M. NJUKI. I wish to congratulate and welcome aboard the new members Eng. Gilbert KIMANZI, Mr. Ronald DRAVU and Omunyoro Zachary Mosimoson BAGUMA. Congratulations are also in order for the old members upon renewal of their term in Office. These are Ms Zeridah ZIGITI, Mrs Jennifer Katagyira LUBAALE and Dr. Nixon KAMUKAMA. We look on with great anticipation for your strategic guidance in attaining our set goals.
At the end of last year, we took domicile in our new home located in Victoria Office Park in Kamwokya, in Kampala. Government continues to grapple with rent for many of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies not with UEGCL. At our last Annual General Meeting, the shareholder (Ministry of Finance, Planning and economic Development) was glad to give us a clean bill of health, as a profitable government agency. We pledge to remain that way.
In summary therefore, while last year (2016) was the fulcrum to the implementation of our Strategic Plan, we envisage that the year 2017 will see us realize some of the fruits of the seeds sowed in 2016. We thank all our stakeholders for the support given to us, and pledge our commitment to further contributing to the overnments development objectives by ensuring reliable and affordable power to all sectors.