Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) granted $993,000 to power developer Earth Energy Co Ltd for preliminary works for the development of a 20MW biomass gasification project in Uganda, Ecofin Agency reported.

Besides the sale of electricity to the national grid, the project is expected to provide 15,000 farmers with an additional annual income of $720 per person out of the sale of agricultural residue to project. Furthermore, it is expected to create 6,000 new jobs in the outskirts of Gulu Town in Uganda, in plantation sites and operation of the power plant, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) announced.

The funding will allow the Ugandan company to conduct preliminary studies, such as technical and environmental feasibility studies, as well as assess the project’s social impact.

Earth Energy Company’s Chairman, James Orima, said: “Earth Energy’s biomass power plant will be the first and largest in East Africa, injecting extra needed power into the Ugandan grid leading to industrialization and thereby helping the country move closer to a middle-income status.”

AfBD’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, Amadou Hott, added: “The support to this private project can pave the way to scale-up of biomass technologies to meet the increasing energy demand on the continent.”