KAMPALA. Government has commissioned the Namanve 189 megawatt (MW) substation, which is expected to boost reliability and stability of power supply to the industries in Kampala business and industrial park, otherwise referred to as Namanve industrial park.
Mr Mark Namungo, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) project manager electrification of industrial parks, said the substation was developed to address power stability and reliability challenges faced by industries in the industrial park.
“Those are some of the reasons why we came up with this substation. With this, you are assured of reliable quality and stable power because the transformation capacity of 189MW. We expect to power about 500 industries” he said.
Namanve is the most popular industrial park with many industrialists scrambling to own a piece of land because of its prime location and access.
The park, which currently consumes 50MW of electricity according to Uganda Investment Authority in 2018, was at full capacity being home to 290 prospective industrialists allocated land in the 2,210 acre industrial park.
The substation whose construction started in 2017, could not be commissioned despite having been completed due to challenges associated with land ownership and compensation.
It is part of the first phase of electrifying industrial parks in Uganda, a project expected to consume $100m with 85 per cent coming from China Exim Bank and 15 per cent from government.
“We have so far finished phase one which had four substations including Mbarara, Iganga and Namanve substation. Three of the four have already been commissioned; we are yet to finish Luzira but we expect it to be done in August,” Ms Pamella Byoruganda, UETCL spokesperson said.
Government resolved to gazette 22 industrial parks as it seeks to boost value addition, create jobs and demand for electricity, among other reasons.
Industries according to information from Umeme, the power distributor make up over 60 per cent of electricity sales in the country as such; industrial parks are expected to be the country’s saving grace to the challenge of excess power generation against low demand.
Uganda currently has an electricity generation capacity of 1,242MW but only 737MW is consumed, especially during peak demand. This leaves an excess of 505MW which costs Ugandans billions of shillings in deemed energy to dam or plant developers.