Irene Muloni, Uganda’s minister for Energy, confirmed that the $77m arrears owed by the government to three thermal power generators will be paid, and added that the government would further subsidise the thermal generators once the 50 MW Bujagali power plant is commissioned, which is scheduled for October.

Uganda faces the prospect of power cuts lasting up to 12 hours a day due to the failure to meet the power subsidies. Uganda Electricity Transmission (UETCL) has notified Umeme, the principal power distribution company in Uganda, of the prospect of the load shedding.

UETCL has attributed the shortfall to “commercial predicaments”, which have led to the shutdown of the Kira thermal plant and the Tororo thermal plant.

Umeme said that the generation shortfall could rise to 120 MW.

Sam Zimbe, general manager of Umeme, said: “This shortfall means that the amount of electricity that Umeme receives for distribution will be greatly reduced, prompting emergency load shedding to regulate the distribution of power.

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