- The Ugandan government has expressed interest in optimizing its Uranium reserves by constructing East Africa’s first nuclear plant.
- The construction of this plant would be done in collaboration with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC).
- Once completed, depending on when, it could make Uganda the 2nd or 3rd African country with a nuclear plant, as SA has an active plant and Egypt has been developing one since 2022.
The Ugandan government said on Thursday that it plans to generate at least 1000 megawatts (MW) from nuclear power by 2031 as part of its efforts to diversify its electricity resources and speed its energy transition, which is a critical component of its climate change response.
This information is based on a report done by the American news agency, Reuters. According to the report, the president of the country disclosed that Uganda has a rich Uranium reserve it wishes to take advantage of. He emphasized that his administration was eager to capitalize on the country’s Uranium for prospective nuclear energy development.
To this effect, Uganda inked a deal with China that stipulates that the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) would assist Uganda in developing capabilities for the peaceful use of atomic energy.
The first nuclear facility, Buyende Nuclear Power Plant, would be constructed roughly 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Kampala, according to Energy and Mines Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu in a statement.
“Preparation to evaluate the Buyende Nuclear Power Plant site is ongoing to pave the way for the first nuclear power project expected to generate 2,000 MW, with the first 1000 MW to be connected to the national grid by 2031,” Ruth Nankabirwa stated.
“Uganda is making firm steps to integrate nuclear energy into the electricity generation mix to ensure energy security and provide sufficient electricity for industrialization,” she added.
In October last year, Bloomberg, another American news agency, reported that Uganda was already looking to identify potential partners for the development of East Africa’s first nuclear plant, and then determined that the project would cost an estimated $9 billion.
Currently, Only South Africa has an active nuclear power plant, while Russia’s state-owned energy business Rosatom commenced construction of Egypt’s first nuclear facility last year.
Uganda has roughly 1,500 MW of installed generating capacity, but authorities say they expect the country’s energy demands to rise in the coming years as oil export revenues drive an economic boom.