Amari Power Transmission
Amari Power Transmission (“Amari”) is a US$90 million independent power transmission project in Uganda
Gridworks is developing this first-of-its-kind project for Uganda. Amari is the pilot for the introduction of private sector capital in the country’s transmission sector.
Announced at the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the Amari project will consist of the upgrade of the transforming capacity of four high voltage electricity substations at key points on Uganda’s grid:
- Tororo, in the East, close to the Kenyan border.
- Nkenda, in the West, at the intended high voltage interconnection point to DRC.
- Mbarara in the West
- Mirama, in the South West.
Gridworks is working closely with a range of sector stakeholders to deliver this project. Amari demonstrates the growing interest in private participation in electricity networks as governments look for complementary and alternative means to fund critical infrastructure.
The upgrade of the substations in the Amari project will improve the supply of electricity to industrial users in line with the Government of Uganda plans to improve the competitiveness of its industry, particularly the manufacturing sector.
Amari will also allow the absorption of more renewable energy onto the grid and provide capacity to support future regional interconnection with Uganda’s neighbours
Why does Gridworks invest in transmission?
Transmission infrastructure is critical social infrastructure. No country can develop and industrialise without access to reliable power.
Gridworks invests in transmission projects because they can deliver impact in a number of ways:
- More jobs and stronger economic growth – both directly in construction, maintenance and operation and indirectly through the jobs enabled by improved power supply to industry
- Increases and improvements in access to power – for both businesses and households
- Lower CO2 emissions – both as a result of reduced losses and the improved stability of the system which allows more variable renewable energy on the grid; and
- Reduced pressure on tariffs through more effective use of power and lower overall system costs.
There are many bottlenecks which constrain power and reduce reliability of the transmission system in Africa, and many countries do not have a strong and interconnected transmission spine to connect all key populations centres.
Privately funded transmission projects have been used for decades in Europe, the Americas and Asia in order to expand electricity access and meet the needs of countries as they industrialise.
It is important that African Governments also have access to this form of funding in order to meet the challenge of developing sustainably.