Residents on Bugala Island can now officially enjoy relatively unlimited power supply following the launch of a solar thermal power plant.
“These developments are not for the development partners or the donors; they are for the local people to improve your social and economic well-being. If they are not put to good use, then all the efforts by the government will be useless,” President Yoweri Museveni said recently while officially launching the project.
It was constructed by Kalangala Infrastructure Services (KIS), a company contracted by the government of Uganda through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to develop infrastructure on the Island.
The 1.6MW plant that uses a solar thermal hybrid system which will generate, transmit and distribute power throughout Bugala Island, in Kalangala district. The Transmission and distribution grid will serve all principle settlements on Bugala Island.
In his speech during the official launch, President Museveni commended KIS for spearheading and developing infrastructure on Bugala Island. He noted the power plant was part of a quadruple project that started about 10 years ago, earmarked at $50 million dollars to improve infrastructure on the island to provide more opportunities for economic – social development.
The President also urged the people of Bugala Island especially the local and large business community to take advantage of the new infrastructure the government has put in place to yield economic growth. He also promised that the road will be upgraded further to tarmac immediately.
Speaking at the ceremony, John Opiro the Managing Director KIS noted that the company has delivered on all the four components of infrastructure development project agreed upon with the government of Uganda.
“The ferry service which consists of the MV Ssese and the MV Pearl was delivered, the water project is up and running, the road works making considerable progress and soon to be completed, and now we are launching the power project which was completed early this year” Opiro said.
He continued, “The power plant, one of the most crucial projects has so far brought about change on Bugala Island. We are witnessing industrial development through the various companies that have been scouting for apt locations to favour their factories on the Island and Kalangala as a whole. We are confident that with the capacity to produce 1.6MWs, the power plant can accommodate these factories and even more different business ventures which will consequently lead to more benefits such as job opportunities, an increase in tourism, eventually putting Bugala Island on a wider scope of recognition.”
The $50 million Project was only made possible through a mix of debt and equity funding from InfraCo UK ( PIDG facility largely funded by DFID), Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, Nedbank, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and USAID
Construction of the hybrid power plant is among the four components KIS undertook under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Uganda to develop infrastructure on Bugala Island. KIS has so delivered on the four components with power installation, ferry services and water supply complete, expansion and upgrade of the main road on Bugala Island now at 90% completion.