Uganda Seeks Investors in Nuclear Plant That May Cost $9 Billion


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(Bloomberg) — Uganda plans to identify potential partners in the coming year to develop East Africa’s first nuclear power plant, which may cost as much as $9 billion as the country moves to boost electricity generation.

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The government is working with China, Russia and the U.S. as it seeks investors, according to Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary Irene Batebe. Construction of the 2,000-megawatt plant, which could be operational by 2031, may occur in two phases due to the expected cost, she said at a conference in Kampala, the capital. 

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Uganda, which is Africa’s biggest coffee exporter, relies heavily on hydropower and is trying to diversify its generation mix. The country holds enormous potential for nuclear energy, Batebe said, adding that the country is also seeking investors for geothermal generation. 

Generation from other sources will help bridge expected spike in energy demand by 2040, according to the government. Currently 57% of the country has access to electricity, with 19% connecting to the national grid and the remainder using local resources including solar. Uganda is seeking universal access in the next eight years, which will cost about $4 billion, Batebe said. 


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