By Billy Rwothungeyo
The state minister for investment, Dr. Gabriel Ajedra, has cautioned energy sector players to avoid past mistakes that proved costly as the Government embarks on building new power plants.
The Government has started the construction of new power projects such as the 600MW Karuma dam and Isimba dam.
“I do hope that the mistakes made on Nyagak 1 will not be repeated. For us as politicians in West Nile, it gave us huge headache. We could not defend the actions of the energy players. How could a dam of 3.5MW take more than five years to be completed?” he asked.
“If Nyagak 1 was designed well, we could have generated about 7MW. Now we have to build Nyagak 3 in the same spot. Why?”
Speaking at the handover ceremony of the new board of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), Ajedra said the delay in getting the Bujagali project on the grid was costly.
“We paid close to $1b in subsidies, the amount of money that could have been used to develop Karuma,” he said.
Faced by an acute power shortage, the Government offered subsidies to private thermal generators to close the power gap.
Ajedra said the planning process for new hydro power plants in Uganda should be more inclusive to avoid making mistakes.
“When there is a project that is being conceived, all experts need to be brought on board. Do not only bring electrical engineers, they are just one part of the equation,” he cautioned.