The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a subsidiary of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has pledged approximately USD19 million for a groundbreaking 20MW solar PV project in the remote and underserved region of north-western Uganda. The financing, finalized during COP28, aligns with SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (climate action), marking a significant step toward addressing the region’s energy needs and reducing reliance on polluting thermal power.
The project, named Ituka, illustrates the PIDG strategy by showcasing the viability of low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure in emerging markets. The EAIF team collaborated with AMEA Power to overcome technical and financial challenges, ensuring the project’s transformative impact on local communities.
The Ituka project involves the development, construction, and operation of a 24MWp/20MWac solar PV power plant in Ombachi, situated around 400km from Kampala in north-western Uganda. With one of the lowest electricity access rates in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda’s West Nile region is in dire need of quality infrastructure development.
The West Nile region, currently facing electricity supply challenges, is expected to be connected to the national grid in 2024. This connection will enhance productivity and resilience for communities and businesses grappling with frequent blackouts. Ituka’s 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited and the Implementation Agreement with the Government of Uganda mark significant milestones for the project.
EAIF has a successful track record in financing solar power projects in Uganda, with operational plants like the 10MW Tororo Solar PV and the 10MW Soroti solar plant. These projects collectively serve around 159,000 people, addressing the country’s growing demand for clean and affordable power.
Ituka West Nile Uganda Limited, the project’s developer, has a 20-year Implementation Agreement with the Government of Uganda, and the plant will sell power to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited based on a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement. AMEA Power, a renewable energy company with a clean energy pipeline of over 6GW across 20 countries, is the sole equity provider, while EAIF serves as the sole lender.
This solar power development aligns strategically with the Government of Uganda’s Vision 2040, aiming to expand generation capacity and diversify the energy mix. The National Development Plan (NDP) III outlines targets for increasing electricity access, per capita consumption, and the total length of transmission lines, contributing to a more sustainable and electrified future for Uganda.
Paromita Chatterjee, Director at Ninety One, the Fund Manager of EAIF, expressed excitement about the partnership with AMEA Power and the potential of the Ituka power plant to provide affordable access to clean energy for West Nile communities, fostering growth and reducing dependence on expensive and carbon-intensive power sources.