East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, 12 September 2011: The United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Uganda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the development and operation of the Kikagati-Murongo Hydropower Project. The MoU was signed Friday 9 September on the sidelines of the 23rd Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers that took place at the Arusha International Conference Centre, Tanzania.
Hon. Samuel J. Sitta (MP), Minister for East African Cooperation endorsed on behalf of the United Republic of Tanzania while Rt. Hon. Eriya Kategaya, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs signed on behalf of Uganda. Dr. Stergomena L. Tax Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Cooperation, Tanzania and Mrs. Edith N. Mwanje Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of East African Community Affairs, Uganda witnessed the signing of the MoU.
EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera as well as officials from the two countries and the EAC Secretariat were present at the signing ceremony.
The objectives of the MoU include among others, ensuring sustainable utilization of the water resource to be exploited in the development and operations of the project; equitable distribution of benefits accrued from the project including, but not limited to, employment and power supply; conduct of environment and social impact assessment satisfactory to the parties in line with respective environmental laws; and ensuring that the development complies with all relevant laws and regulations applicable in the region and within the territories of the two countries.
The Kikagati/Murongo hydropower project is a 16MW project, comprising two units of 8MW each, on Kagera River on the Uganda-Tanzania boundary. The power house will be located on the Ugandan side while the reservoir will cover both Partner States. The project will be connected to the grid at Kikagati which is linked by a 33kV line from Mbarara. The project will include an electrification programme in Murongo (Tanzania) which is currently not electrified. The project will be implemented by an Independent Power Producer (IPP).
Since the project is located along the boundary, and has benefits to the two Partner States through provision of electricity to Kikagati (Uganda) and Murongo (Tanzania) and other related benefits associated with access to modern energy services, the two Partner States have, with the facilitation and support of the EAC Secretariat, signed the MoU to facilitate the development and operation of the project.
A Joint Technical Committee (JTC) comprised of technical officers from the two Partner States and EAC Secretariat is responsible for steering the project implementation. Following the signing of the MoU, the JTC will commence the development of a Bilateral Agreement that will among other things look into sharing of benefits and responsibilities, modalities of power exchange from the project to the two Partner States and ownership of the project’s assets after the expiry of the contract with the IPP. This process is expected to be completed before the end of 2011. Project implementation could commence early 2012.
Realisation of the project is consistent with provisions of Article 101 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community to promote the least cost development of energy resources to supply affordable energy while protecting the environment. Furthermore, the project would contribute to the EAC cross-border electrification programme where border communities benefit from electricity supply from a neighbouring Partner State if the grid is nearer than that of its own country.
The development of an EAC Cross-Border Electrification Policy is at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed by October 2011. The policy being developed will facilitate smooth and faster implementation of the Cross-Border Electrification Programme including the development of transboundary resources such as the Kikagati/Murongo project.
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department