Tanzania, Uganda sign pact on power generation


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BabuK

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Tanzania and Uganda have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the Kikagati-Murongo Hydropower Project located in Uganda will be developed to supply power to the two countries.
The agreement was signed last week on the sidelines of the 23rd Meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers in Arusha.
A press statement issued by the EAC in Dar es Salaam yesterday, said Tanzania’s East African Cooperation minister, Samuel Sitta signed on behalf of his country while Uganda’s first Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs signed on behalf of his country.
EAC Secretary General Ambassador Dr Richard Sezibera as well as officials from the two countries and the EAC secretariat were also present at the ceremony.
The objectives of the agreement include, ensuring sustainable utilisation of the water resource to be exploited in the development and operations of the project, equitable distribution of benefits such as employment and power supply.
The statement said Kikagati/Murongo hydropower project is a 16MW project, comprising two units of 8MW each, on Kagera River on the Uganda-Tanzania border.
The power house will be located on the Ugandan side while the reservoir will cover both partner states.
The project will be connected to the grid at Kikagati which is linked by a 33kV line from Mbarara.
It will include an electrification programme in Murongo (Tanzania) which is currently not electrified and will be implemented by an independent power producer.
The statement noted that a joint technical committee (JTC) comprised of technical officers from the two Partner States and EAC Secretariat is responsible for steering the project implementation.
Following the signing of the MoU, the committee will commence the development of a bilateral pact that will among other things look into sharing of benefits and responsibilities, modalities of power exchange from the project to the two Partner States and ownership of the project’s assets after the expiry of the contract with the IPP.
According to the statement, the process is expected to be completed before the end of this year and its implementation could commence early 2012.
Realisation of the project is consistent with provisions of Article 101 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community to promote the least cost development of energy resources to supply affordable energy while protecting the environment.
Furthermore, the project would contribute to the EAC cross-border electrification programme where border communities benefit from electricity supply from a neighbouring Partner State if the grid is nearer than that of its own country.


SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
 
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