Poor power network worries electricity company

Monday March 28 2016

By NELSON WESONGA

Kampala:

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has said power distribution should be improved to optimally tap electricity from upcoming generation plants.

While listing the challenges UETCL faces, the company said through its corporate business plan, the current distribution infrastructure is weak.

“This places a challenge on UETCL as it has to pay for energy not dispatched due to failures within the distribution infrastructure,” UETCL said in its plan covering the period up to 2018.

“The commissioning of new IPPs [Independent Power Producers] before the attendant evacuation transmission infrastructure is availed poses the challenge of UETCL paying for generation capacity declared available but not dispatched,” the report added.
UETCL is the sole buyer of bulk electricity from the generation companies. It sells the electricity to different distribution companies.

The distribution companies include Umeme, which distributes up to 97 per cent of the electricity in Uganda, Ferdsult and Bundibugyo Energy Cooperative, among others.

Over the years, Umeme has invested billions of shillings in the distribution network, installing transformers, building electrical substations and new poles.

However, policy analysts, like Mr Lawrence Bategeka, who closely follows matters in the energy sector, have in the past told this newspaper that there are inefficiencies in the network – which is explained by the high technical losses.

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