Business
Uganda to set up geothermal energy firm
Publish Date: Feb 11, 2014
Uganda to set up geothermal energy firm
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Ibrahim Kasita

Uganda will start a geothermal resources department in the ministry of energy and mineral development to develop underground energy for electricity production.


Geothermal energy is the heat from the earth and is recognized as renewable energy resources like hydropower and biomass.

The existence of recent volcanic activity and active extensive tectonism in the western rift valley makes the region ideal for geothermal energy occurrence due to relatively high heat flow rates in the area.   
 
“In order to fast track the development of geothermal energy, government is in the process of establishing a geothermal resources department,” Vincent Kato, the principal geologist in the department of geology survey and mines, said.

“This is awaiting a certifcate of financial implication from Ministry of Finance. This department will steer geothermal energy development in Uganda.”

The creation of standalone geothermal entities is not new phonomenon. Kenya established Geothermal Development Company (DGC) and Tanzania is forming an independent institution to do the same.

Kato disclosed that Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended technical assistance to assess all the geothermal resource sites in Uganda and rank the most prospective for future development.

“JICA will again extend technical assistance to develop the highly ranked geothermal prospect. They visited 17 sites in south west and western Uganda in seven districts,” he said.

Kato said that government has committed public funds towards the development of geothermal energy under the "Uganda Geothermal Resources Development Project.”

He said government is undertaking surface studies in Panyimur (Nebbi), Kibiro (Hoima), Katwe-Kikorongo (Kasese) and Buranga (Bundibugyo-Ntoroko) area.

“In addition the government is undertaking studies on other geothermal sites (stocktaking its geothermal resources), establishing and managing data bases, human capital development in Iceland, and Kenya.

So far 25 Ugandans have been trained in geothermal related discipline. “Government is now procuring breakthrough equipment to image the underground and locate the geothermal reserviour for drilling,” Katon said.

So far seven companies have been licenced to explore for geothermal resources but all of them lack technical, financial and operation resources to explore and develop geothermnal.

They include Katwe Geothermal Power Project Ltd, Gids Consult Limited, Cozumel Energy Uganda Ltd, Moberge Finance Ltd, Clean Source Energy Partners and Pawakom International Ltd and Ascot Associates.

There are two big barriers against geothermal energy development; resource development risks and large up-front investment.

Private companies are not willing to develop geothermal energy. Uganda has submitted a proposal to Geothermal Risk Mitigation Facility at African Union, for financial and technical assistance.

This facility was established to assist in developing geothermal energy in east African countries.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Egypt to offer projects to domestic, foreign investors
Egypt will offer a slew of projects to domestic and foreign investors at a conference in March aimed at kick-starting an economy battered by years of political unrest....
Students’ involvement in investment negotiations is key
University students have been urged to get involved in negotiations of trade, bilateral and investment agreements rather than leaving it to technocrats and politicians....
Practices to add to your daily business schedule
At the end of each day’s work, find time to identify three things that went well. Once you identify them, ask the critical question such as, “Why did ‘X’ go well?”...
Dubai insurer set for Uganda
The new firm will enter into strategic partnerships to oversee, design, and control processes of selected licensed brokers....
Textile manufacturers want the national textile policy implemented
Textile industries are pushing for the implementation of a National Textile Policy. They also want government institutions compelled to buy textiles from local companies....
BOU has no influence on govt spending
There have been allegations in the media that Bank of Uganda printed money for the 2011 elections, which led to the high inflation rate at the time....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter