Tuesday November 8 2011

Bujagali opening for December-gov’t

By Richard Wanambwa

Government has on Tuesday reaffirmed its position on provision of energy to the country by announcing that Bujagali power station will be commissioned for use early next month.

Energy State Minister, Eng. Simon D’ujanga told journalists at Uganda Media Centre that although the dam is to produce 250 Mega Watts. Eng. D’ujanga, however, noted that the rate of energy demand is increasing at fast rate. To meet this anticipated demand however, Karuma and other small plants have to supplement the two national stations.

“In other words if Bujagali is commissioned there shouldn’t be load shedding but because of the growth in power demand, we want by March next year to have a contractor at Karuma. The commissioning of Bujagali was supposed to be in November but it will be in early December and on Saturday, they started filling the little dam” Eng. D’ujanga said.

Eng. D’ujanja went on to agree that his Internal Affairs colleague Hillary Onek was right in saying that Bujagali opening would not be the end of load shedding. This is because the 250 Mega Watts is not enough to stop load shedding but said the country was short of additional 100 Mega Watts in order to do away with load shedding.

“Eng. Onek and I don’t vary but we are here to put into proper context what Eng. Onek said and the statement which he said has raised dust. An electric power station generates power according to the demand as it doesn’t have to be stored. The demand varies from time to time as it’s not constant and therefore, when we are designing a power station, we work at its average for the long term” he said.

Eng. Onek is a former Energy Minister and also expert on power dam construction. But D’ujanga said that Bujagali will be utilized to capacity at 250 mega watts but said that 250MW can only be utilized for five hours. However, he ruled out the issue that dam would be producing at half use. He also outlined out other power plants that government is working or intends to work on as Nyagaka with work ongoing while Nsimba power station is waiting for an investor to supplement government.