UGANDA RESUMES EXPORT OF POWER TO KENYA AS UGANDAN ENGINEERS GET ISIMBA HYDRO POWER PLANT BACK RUNNING

  • No more loadshedding
  • Engineers worked day and night to save equipment from being damaged as part of the plant was flooded
  • Mishap has tested and proved Uganda’s preparedness to deal with electricity emergencies- Hon Nankabirwa

By Our Team in Isimba

The government will resume export of some  50Megawatts (MW) to Kenya after Ugandan engineers worked day and night for two weeks to restore two of the four units at Isimba dam following an emergency shutdown due to flooding in the power house .

The first two of the four Kaplan axial flow turbines, that generate electricity, had been fully restored over the weekend when Energy Miniser  Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa visited the power plant to inspect the repair works .. Each of the turbine units has a generation capacity of 45.5MW.

The two restored turbines—one on Friday evening and the second on Saturday—brought on board 91.4MW, Dr. Engineer Harrison Mutikinga the Uganda Electriicty Generation Company Limited CEO told the Minister and the media during the tour of the plant . However,  UETCL can only takeout  76MW daily leaving a balance of 15MW un-utilized power .

This development, according to Mutikanga means that there  will be no load shedding attributed to the plant shut-down since sufficient power generation has been restored at Isimba HPP.

“It ought to be noted that Unit 3 is still under outage and hence only 3 units will be returned to full generation capacity by the end of the week giving us a viable 135 MW as was the state of production before the incident,” the ministry of Energy revealed in a statement , signed by Minister Nankabirwa.

This progress hence implies that the government of Uganda, through its transmission company (UETCL) will no longer need to import electricity from Kenya. Instead, we shall be exporting 50 MW to Kenya as before. Additionally, UETCL won’t need to access power from Namanve HFP and Kakira, which are emergency generators but also more expensive than hydropower.

Ms Nankabirwa described the restoration as a testament of faith in Ugandan engineers who undertook the laborious work without necessitating foreign expatriates.

“People tend to forget where this country has come from in terms of power generation, capacity, and technology transfer to the extent that our engineers can pull this off…I want to assure the country that the crisis has been addressed,” she said.

The UEGCL board chairperson, Ms Proscovia Njuki, said whereas they are conducting internal investigations on what caused the flooding in Isimba dam, they are ready to work with the team that will be sent from Parliament to conduct a parallel investigation.

“There was not any hole in the power house but preliminary investigations indicate that one of the gates that was supposed to close jammed and refused to close feeding in water from the river,” she said.

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