Kampala. Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has c ommissioned power lines to export electricity.
Speaking during a tour of different substations in Kampala, Mr Kenneth Otim, the UETCL senior public relations officer, said Uganda is generating surplus electricity, which needs to be exported to neighboring markets such as South Sudan and DR Congo.
“We currently generate 715 megawatts for [local consumption] yet demand is at 580 megawatts. We export about 67.8 megawatts. However, we still have a surplus of 67.2 megawatts. We cannot generate power that we are not using,” he said.
UETCL, according to Mr Otim, has already commissioned the Kawanda-Masaka 220kv and Nkenda-Fortprotal 220kv power lines to serve as a high voltage back born to the proposed regional interconnection network between Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Dr Congo
“Government is set to construct 3,161.8 kilometers of transmission lines next year. These will provide adequate infrastructure to meet power supply needs, evacuate power from generation station to the existing national grid for trade,” he said.
More than 2,644 people have been affected by the transmission lines that stretch through the districts of Wakiso, Mpigi, Kalungu and Masaka.
Government has already spent more than Shs50b in compensation to the affected people.
Asked why power consumption continues to be low, Mr Samuel Otedor, the UETCL senior civil engineer, said they were aware of this challenge. However, he said, efforts have been made to upgraded different substation within and outside Kampala to increase supply capacity and reliability.
Mr Otedor emphasised they have been doing everything possible to ensure reliable power supply in the Kampala Central Business Districts and other concentrated and industrial zones.
“Some substations such as the one located on Kampala-Entebbe Road, among others have been upgraded to accommodate growing industrial, commercial and domestic demand,” he said.
For instance, Mr Otedor added, UETCL has been able to meet growing power supply in urban places such as Kampala by upgrading substations. Kampala alone, according to UETCL, has electricity demand that stands at more than 380kv.
However, to meet this demand UETCL had to upgrade the Queens Way substation to produce 132kvs in additional to 120 MVA to benefit 2.5 million people in the city.
Currently, government is developing a number of hydro power plants including Karuma and Isimba, which are expected to generate 600 and 183 megawatts, respectively.
Other plants such as Ayago (400 megawatts), Agago and Achwa (combined 88 megawatts), Kikagati, Nsongezi, Buseruka (10 megawatts), Kinyara Sugar Works (40 megawatts), Muzizi (40 megawatts), and Waki (five megawatts) are also being developed.
About 132 kvs will be evacuated thorough Karuma Isimba and Ayagi interconnection to supply Lira, Gulu and Agago.
Another 132 kv will be evacuated to Agago Mirama Kiatagat, Nsingezi while another 132 kv will be evacuated through Mbale Bulambuli transmission lines.