According to President Yoweri Museveni, two nuclear power plants built by Russia and South Korea would provide 15,400 megawatts of electricity for Uganda.
The Ugandan president claims that one unit would produce 7,000 MW and another 8,400 MW, however, he did not specify a completion date or a source of money for the projects.
An agreement to create the nuclear station was signed with Uganda in 2016 by representatives of the Russian-owned Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, but the project never got off the ground.
Uganda is currently having trouble raising funds to build hydropower dams that are less expensive than nuclear power plants. Uganda now has installed capacity to generate 1402MW of electricity. However, it only uses 800MW of that capacity.
The Ugandan administration intends to sell power overseas. According to President Museveni, investors have sought him to mine uranium resources in Uganda for export but he has turned them down. Uranium is a material used to produce nuclear power.
“A Western company proposed to mine uranium. I asked them, ‘mine it and take it where?’ They said export it. I asked to export it for what purpose? They told me, ‘We want to take uranium’,” President Museveni said.
The president claimed that the reason he declined was that Uganda still had power issues and that, if they wanted uranium, they should start by processing it here for electricity production. The president added that the corporate leaders left and didn’t come back. Additionally, he noted that he forbade the export of raw resources since doing so would result in job and financial losses for the nation.
He gave the example of how an Indian investor in iron ore approached him about mining and exporting iron ore to India, but after doing some research, he discovered that Uganda would only receive $47 (Ush168,000) from each tonne of iron ore, while the investors would profit $700 (Ush2.5 million) from the same amount of raw material if it were processed. He responded, “I directed them to process the iron from here.”
On similar grounds, the president recently prohibited the export of lumber. He declared that only Ugandan-made wooden furniture would be exported. Additionally, he instructed government organizations to avoid purchasing foreign furniture when identical items could be produced locally.
- A Business Insider Africa report