A total of 1,672 Mega Watts (MW) generation capacity will be added onto the transmission backbone to tame the growing electricity deficiency in the country by the year 2018, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company (UETCL) the electricity transmitter, has said. Currently, the installed generation capacity from all sources, thermal and hydro, is 801MW against demand of 520MW.The increase, according to UETCL, is to support the increasing industrialisation and address current demand worsened by leakages due to old lines.
The plan will be implemented by government and through Independent Power Producers (IPPs) on several projects, like Karuma, Isimba and Ayago (all hydro), whose construction is already underway.
Other hydro power stations are, Achwa, Kikagati, Nengo, Lubulia, Siti i ii, Nyamwamba, Nshongezi, mini hydro, Kinyara co-generation.The plan also includes Peat energy in Kabale and the Albatros thermal generation plant.
UETCL’ head of communications, Kenneth Otim, said, the projects once delivered will be critical for the success of the economy.“Uganda is on a steady road of development transforming into a modern, global and competitive country. So there is need for adequate and affordable power supply for development,” Mr Otim noted.
The government has within the current tariff and from donor partners identified Shs968.4 billion to support the projects, inclusive of conducting feasibility studies, construction of new lines and refurbishing old ones.
UETCL has already commissioned the 220KiloVoltage (kV) Bujagali-Kawanda-Mutundwe transmission line and its associated substations at Bujagali and Kawanda.
The 1,616km backbone consists of 220kV, 132kV and 66kV transmission lines and 17 sub-stations with a total capacity of 1,000 Mega Volt Amperes (MVA) across the country.
Mr Otim noted, that the process to revamp the old infrastructure is ongoing to enhance service delivery and to evacuate power generated, expand rehabilitate the grid and regional interconnection which shall be critical for the installation of additional capacity.
“We need a strong and flexible transmission grid to minimize power interruptions, as well as being able to evacuate power from the upcoming generation plants.”
A total of 791km of transmission lines will be constructed by 2016 and these will include the Mbarara-Nkenda 132kV, Tororo-Opuyo-Lira 132kV and Kawanda-Masaka 220kV.
SOURCE: DAILY MONITOR