Uganda’s electricity distributor, Umeme Limited has secured a $70m (Shs 258 billion) funding to support its planned investments in the electricity distribution network.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) was the lead-arranger in the syndicate including Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, Standard Chartered Bank and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).
Selestino Babungi, the Managing Director, was pleased with the conclusion of the fundraising process, as the funds shall be invested in the distribution network to; expand the system, refurbish worn out components of
the network, drive efficiencies and increased electricity connectivity.
He emphasised the continued need to invest key priority areas to; unlock demand in light of increased generation capacity as the 600MW Karuma HPP is about to be commissioned, improve the quality and reliability of supply in high growth areas, doubling electricity connections to 3.2 million customers by
2025, reduction of energy losses to 13% by 2025, rollout pre-paid metering to the remaining 230,000 postpaid single phase customers, deployment of technology and improving general customer experience, while ensuring safety of staff, contractors and the general public.
Investments in the distribution system positively impacts our service provision to consumers and the economy in general. Since 2013, Umeme has invested over Shs 1.7 trillion ($ 460 million) in the distribution network, resulting into: growth in customers numbers to 1.4 million from 0.6 million customers, reduction in energy losses to 16.6% from 24.3%, rollout of pre-paid metering to over 1 million customers, improved supply reliability, improved customer experience and efficiencies through use of technology, and a 7% annual
growth in electricity sales.
Patrick Bitature, the Chairman of the Umeme Board, said: “This funding will allow Umeme to continue investing in the distribution network to enable the Company support the Government in achieving its short and medium term goals for the electricity supply industry. Umeme has proved that the private sector can be an effective and efficient vehicle to raise and deploy capital that compliments government fiscal resources in provision of social services to the citizens.”