Total E&P B.V. wants to build a $117.4 million (Shs416 billion) thermal power plant in Buliisa District, 300 kilometres northwest of Kampala in central Uganda.
To that end, Total E&P B.V. has sought the permission of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to generate 146 megawatts (MW) of power using associated gas.
The regulator is now doing due diligence on Total E&P B.V.
Aside from Total E&P B.V., Albatross Uganda Limited has interest in putting up a thermal power in Hoima.
The regulator had even issued it with a license generate and sale electricity from a 50MW thermal power plant in Itara village, Bugahya County in Hoima District.
Both are counting on the crude that Uganda will be mining. According to official figures, Uganda will be producing 60, 000 barrels of crude oil per day once production starts.
Should ERA grant Total E&P B.V. the permit, the company says it would construct the plant in 2019.
The project would be financed by 100 per cent shareholder equity.
According to Total E&P B.V’s application form, the project would be commissioned in 2020, which is just about the time that Uganda is expected to start commercial production of crude oil.
The power generated at the plant would be sold to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), the licensed sole buyer of electricity from power generation plants.
UETCL then sells the power it buys to electricity distribution companies such as Umeme and the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited.
According to Total E&P B.V., acquisition of land for the project could disrupt livelihoods; reduce access to water, medicinal plants as well as food and building materials.
The company adds that it could result in the injury of livestock and change livelihood choices from the traditional to wage-based employment.
During construction and also due to the movement of heavy trucks, it could generate a lot of noise.
Worse though, the project could result in increased greenhouse emissions, which would contribute to climate change.