Government will, in 2018, pay Ugx. 56.8b for maintenance of two thermal plants – Electromaxx and Jacobsen.
The figure includes fees for fixed cost operations and debt repayments due to the operators of the two plants. This was disclosed by Ms Ziria Tibalwa, thev CEO Electricity Regulatory Authority during a briefing about the state of the energy sector.
The two plants, which are currently not generating power, are a backup plan in case of emergencies such as low power generation during droughts. Ms Tibalwa revealed that the plants are a precautionary measure to mitigate unforeseeable risks such as drought.
Explaining the need for the thermal plants, Ms Tibalwa said a number of experiences such as the 2005 drought, which forced Uganda into a power crisis was awake up call for the country, thus there is need for long term and short term planning.
The drought [ which cut water levels thus limiting capacity to general hydro power] forced government to procure electricity from private thermal plants operators, which according to Ms Tibalwa, was a wakeup call.