‘We are on an aggressive electrification programme’

  • June 7, 2018

Excerpts of the interview with H.E. Simon D’Ujanga, State Minister for Energy in the Ugandan cabinet

About the energy landscape in Uganda…..

 We are moving – we are 21% electrified and that is too low in the region and in the world. So we are on an aggressive electrification programme to try and reach 60% in the next five years that is with respect to electrification. With respect to petroleum, we have had a discovery; we have confirmed 6.5 billion barrels we are doing things – we are doing refinery and pipeline for crude export.

 Are you talking to some people on board regarding the 6.5 billion barrels discovery?

 

We have Tullow, TOTAL and the CNOOC from China. These have got production licenses already and we have already got a lead investor with whom we have been discussing to do the refinery. It is going to be a public-private partnership. The private sector will have 60% and government will have 40%.

We are now discussing project framework agreement with the lead investor and hope in the next 3-5 years, we are going to have a refinery.

 Energy for all….

Growing population puts a lot of stress on the forest cover. We are trying to reach the population with electricity and we realized that we can take a line to the village but people are not rich enough to connect themselves. So government has come up with a programme to connect people for free to move the percentage which I talked about earlier on.

So we are connecting people for free.

For the energy charge, we have got a lifeline. We have got very low price for the poorest. We are doing everything possible to get accessibility in order to meet the goal.

 Economic policy and energy must go hand-in-hand…

Yes! The economic policy of private sector-led growth will put emphasis on the private sector. We even go out of our way to help the private sector by giving them subsidy, incentive so that we have a strong private sector. In the past, we have had governments doing business but that does not work. We can do things like schools, hospitals and other infrastructure for the development of the population but things to do with business, we have left that entirely to the private sector.

 Meetings with Ministers and CEOs….

We met a number of colleagues. We had a reception where we had good interactions. We have exchanged contacts and I hope that from here we shall make good progress.

Bringing everybody under a single roof…

When we come together, we take off time, we compare experiences, and then we share opportunities that are available all over the world. And then we can learn from each other and most importantly we create contacts for future engagements.

The two days have been very resourceful. I have got very good reception from the Government and people of India. They have given me and my delegation a warm welcome. We are happy.

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