Uganda set to become Africa’s third nuclear-powered country by 2031
The Ugandan government has announced its plan to construct the country’s 1st — and likely Africa’s 3rd — nuclear facility, the Buyende Nuclear Power Plant, in collaboration with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) that would assist Uganda in developing capabilities for peaceful use of atomic energy.
Currently in Africa, only South Africa has an active nuclear power plant, while Russia’s state-owned energy corporation Rosatom commenced construction of Egypt’s first nuclear facility last year.
Now, also Uganda has expressed interest in optimizing its uranium reserves, with its energy minister saying preparations are ongoing to pave way for the country’s 1st nuclear power project that would be constructed roughly 150 kilometers north of Kampala.
“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,” said Energy and Mines Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu.
The East African country has currently about 1,500 MW of installed generating capacity, but authorities say they expect energy demands to rise in the coming years as oil export revenues drive an economic boom.
In October 2022, Uganda was reported to be looking for potential partners for the development of East Africa’s first nuclear plant, and then determined that the project would cost an estimated $9 billion. “Uganda is making firm steps to integrate nuclear energy into the electricity generation mix to ensure energy security and provide sufficient electricity for industrialization,” the energy minister added.