In East Africa, Chinese-based power transmission and generation company, Shanghai Electric, has demonstrated an interest in investing $2 billion toward the development of biomass energy in Uganda.
On a tour visit to Uganda, Shanghai Electric senior officials told local media that an alternative power source like the biomass can effectively solve the power shortages that the country is experiencing.
Company representative and general manager of Fuji Electric, Deng Yuntian, commented: “We are prepared to invest as much as we can in this project-biomass. However, averagely, we are looking at injecting at least $2billion.
“Power is the backbone of any developed economy. And we have alternative technologies to help Uganda generate biomass energy. We can generate twice as much energy from papyrus and agricultural waste as what is being generated from hydropower.”
Yuntian said that they are in Uganda on a fact finding mission, following an invitation by President Yoweri Museveni when he toured their Shanghai Electric’s facilities in China recently.
He added that so far, they are impressed with the country’s potential and are keen on working with the government in fulfilling the project.
Head of communication at the Ministry of Energy, Matovu Bukenya, told the Monitor that total power capacity generated in Uganda is less than 1000MW and cannot keep up with the annual consumption growth rate of 4%.
Bukenya supports the move and is eager for the Chinese-based power transmission and generation company to formalise their engagement with the ministry.
A 2013 report compiled by Uganda’s Ministry of Energy, highlights that the country’s main challenge is not insufficient supply of biomass, but rather the lack of technology to utilise the diverse forms of biomass.