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WORK PROGRESSES STEADILY TO EXTEND UGANDA’S POWER GRID

By Ayiga Ondoga

KAMPALA, July 31– The West Nile power grid extension from the Nyagak Hydro plant to the rest of the districts in Uganda is moving ahead steadily with more than 46 per cent of the work on the project, which costs almost 44 billion shillings (12 million euros), already covered, according to the project consultant.

Project site manager Ken Mulwanda says construction works were in progress on the line from Nyagak to Arua via Vurra with poles already erected and dressed on the 50-kilometre stretch.

“On the 56-MV line Arua-Koboko-Oraba to Yumbe, construction works of pole erection and dressing stands at 24 km while construction on the 50-MV line from Nebbi to Pakwach is at 15 km of pole erection and dressing,” Mulwanda explained.

The 20-month project covering more than 185 km has so far covered over 90 km in nine months in the districts of Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Maracha, Koboko and Yumbe, noted Mulwanda.

Mulwanda was briefing State Minister for Energ Simon D’Ujanga and officials from the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) during a fact finding tour of the project this week.

Mulwanda revealed that deliveries of construction materials both imported and local, such as poles, was proceeding smoothly.

D’Ujanga expressed happiness with the progress of the extension project, saying by at least December, 2014, many people should have been connected on the main grid to boost development in the West Nile region.

“We shall serve all the trading centres and towns in the region with power so that their lives can change for better and development is achieved. With several sub-contractors, the work is progressing very fast and WENRECO (West Nile Rural Electricity Company) will start distribution process,” D’Ujanga stressed.

D’Ujanga observed all the 11KV power network in the region including Arua sub-station will be replaced with 33KV network in order to provided sufficient power to consumers for both domestic and industrial works.

The minister lamented the delayed works of stringing the Nyagak-Vurra-Arua MV line which is affecting the connection of customers in the area.

D’Ujanga pointed out, “We started late with the project but I’m happy with the progress so far. Let’s continue steadily so that we can finish within the stipulated time frame because this is donor money and accountability is needed as signed in the contract agreement.”

“The construction works of the two sub-stations at Nyagak and Arua has reached steel reinforcement bars for the roof slabs and works on LV (400V) line on Warr and Logiri to Nyagak and Nebbi-Pakwach is in progress,” Mulwanda asserted.

Some of the officials from UEDCL, who accompanied the minister were Eng. Lauren Bamanya, project manager, Protaze Tibyakinura, manager Pole Plant and Stores, Franklin Kizito Oidu, manager technical service and officials from LTL Project (PvT) Ltd, the contractors of the grid extension, K.A Weeraratne, project manager and Fazal Arshed, project engineer among others.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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