By Ibrahim Kasita
THE High Court has issued an interim order restraining the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) from awarding a generation licence to the Norwegian firm, Jacobsen Electro, to install a 50MW thermal power plant at Namanve, near Kampala.
The order was issued on Tuesday by Vincent Mugabo, the High Court assistant registrar. The order stands until May 28 when the hearing will be determined and a final decision taken.
â€œThe interim order issued on the 2nd day of April, 2007 in this application to restrain the respondent, its agents, representatives and/or employees from granting/issuing/awarding the Independent Power Producer licence to Jacobsen Electro AS for the generation and sale of 50MW of thermal power be extended from the 30th day of April, 2007 to the 28th day of May, 2007 when Miscellaneous Application No 200 of 2007 shall come up for hearing and final decision,â€ read the ruling.
The ruling follows an application for extension of the interim injunction by a rival firm Electro-Maxx.
The energy ministry and Uganda Electricity Transmission Company had cleared Jacobsen to be awarded the sh151b contract to generate and sell electricity to the national grid.
Last year, ERA invited bidders to build a thermal plant at Namanve. Jacobsen, Electro-Maxx and African Power Initiative, responded.
The electricity authority awarded the deal to Jacobsen. The plant was expected to be operational in June.
However, Electro-Maxx dragged ERA to the High Court disputing the bid results and the bid re-evaluation which favoured Jacobsen.
The bidding evaluation process was conducted by ERA and energy ministry who Electro-Maxx claims were unfair.
The local firm petitioned the Inspector General of Governmentâ€™s (IGG) office which overturned the award.
The emergence project that was expected to relieve the countryâ€™s electricity shortage in the short-term is 11 month late.
Uganda requires about 105MW of power because the hydro-power generation has increased to 145MW following the rise in Lake Victoria water levels.