Uganda refutes power import claims by Kenya

Wednesday October 7 2015

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

KAMPALA. Barely three days after Kenya power regulators said they have doubled their power exports to Uganda, a senior official from ministry of Energy has refuted the claims.
On Sunday the Daily Monitor sister newspaper Business Daily reported that Kenya had since more than doubled its electricity sales to Uganda.

In the report, it was stated that a total of 26.56 million Kilowatt-hours (kWh) were being exported to Uganda and Tanzania over the last 12 months up from 12.63 million kWh indicating a 110.2 per cent growth.
In an interview with ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Kabagambe Kaliisa, it emerged that there has never been such a commercial transaction between the two neighbouring countries. He said: “There are no direct commercial power exports from Kenya to Uganda.”

Cut imports
Mr John Mutua, Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission senior manager for economic regulation, told Business Daily: “The country has increased power sales and cut imports largely due to the additional geothermal energy to the grid.”
Kenya’s energy scale-up also saw the country cut electricity imports from Uganda by more than half to 31.05 million units from 66.17 million units in the first seven months of 2014.
The country stopped importing electricity from Tanzania in July.

Kenya also imports power from Ethiopia to feed the neighbouring Moyale County, which is not linked to the national electricity grid.
Kenya had last year stepped up imports from Uganda to meet growing need for power driven by rising demand by industrialists and increased customer connections, particularly in rural areas.

Uganda’s capacity
According to information from Ministry of Energy, Uganda’s demand stands 540MW at peak hours and the country currently has the capacity to produce 852 megawatts.
Nalubaale Hydro Power Plant (180MW) has been operational since 1954, while Kiira power plant (200 MW) has been in operation since 2002.
The Bujagali hydro power plant was commissioned in October 2012 and has an installed capacity of 250 MW.
Meanwhile, Karuma and Isimba projects are underway and expected to bring on board 600 Megawatt and 183.2 megawatts respectively.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com

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