Globeleq, a US-based power company focused on emerging markets, and partner, South African electricity utility Eskom Enterprises, have through their jointly owned subsidiary, Umeme Ltd, begun operating the electricity distribution system in Uganda under a concession agreement with the Ugandan government.

Umeme will manage and operate the electricity distribution system in Uganda for 20 years based on the concession agreements signed in May 2004. The electricity distribution network will be leased from the Ugandan Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL), an entity of the government of Uganda. Umeme will invest capital to improve the network infrastructure and establish new connections. UEDCL will continue to run the rural electrification schemes across the country.

Torbjorn Caesar, executive vice president of Globeleq for Africa, said: Our investment in power distribution in Uganda is a first for Globeleq and reflects our commitment to the emerging markets. We are very excited about helping to improve the safety and reliability of electricity delivery to the people of Uganda.

Paul Mare, general manager of Umeme, added: We aim to be the leading electricity distribution company in East Africa by 2010, providing safe, reliable electric service to consumers in Uganda.

Umeme is 56% owned by Globeleq and 44% by Eskom Enterprises, the non-regulated entity of the South African electricity utility. With investments of more than $500 million, Globeleq contends that it is the fastest growing operating power company solely focused on the emerging markets of Africa, the Americas and Asia.