Gulu gets 20 Megawatt electricity generation plant

Engineers at Nyabyeya Forestry College's Biomass Gasification plant.
Engineers at Nyabyeya Forestry College's Biomass Gasification plant. Gulu could get similar technology soon. Courtesy Photo.

Agricultural waste in Gulu district will be turned into a useful resource to generate electricity for supply to the national grid thanks to funding from African Development Bank.

The bank recently approved over 3.4 billion shillings (USD 993,000) to a private renewable energy player; Earth Energy Company Limited seeking to put up a 20-Megwatt power generation plant.

A statement from Africa Development Bank (AfDB) says the grant will facilitate the conduct of preliminary studies needed for the project to undertake environmental and social impact assessment and a detailed engineering design for the gasification plant.

The grant is component of a multi-donor of Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) trust fund administered by the African Development Bank.

The USD 60 million (213 billion Shillings) trust fund is funded by the Governments of Denmark and the United States – to support small- and medium-scale Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects in Africa.

It is founded on the premise that reliable, clean and affordable energy can contribute to strong African economies and can have a positive impact in creating employment opportunities across the continent.

Amadou Hott, Africa Development Bank’s Vice president for Power, Energy Climate and Green Growth says the grant will be instrumental in both the deployment of an innovative technology in an African context, but also in providing a clean energy alternative to a country highly dependent on hydro power such as Uganda.

Besides the sale of electricity to the national grid, the project is also expected to provide 15,000 farmers with an additional annual income of USD 720 (2.5 million Shillings) per person out of the sale of agricultural residue to the project and is expected to create 6,000 new jobs in the outskirts of Gulu Town.

The project is aligned to the Renewable Energy Policy in Uganda, which seeks to increase the use of modern Renewable Energy from currently 4 percent to 61 percent.

James Orima, the Earth Energy Company’s Chairman also a lawyer in Kampala could not be reached for comment about the planned gasification plant will work.

He is quoted in a statement saying Earth Energy’s biomass power plant will be the first and largest in East Africa, injecting extra needed power into the Ugandan grid leading to industrialization.

The burning biomass matter for electricity production is gaining popularity in Uganda with some of the big companies like Hima cement turning to it to power their processes.

Biomass can be converted into electric power through several methods. The most common is direct combustion of biomass material, such as agricultural waste or woody materials.

– Uganda Radio Network