UEGCL cuts operational costs at Namanve power plant

Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa (second left) together with officials from Namanve Thermal Power Plant and Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited inspecting the Namanve plant last year. PHOTO | STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • Dr Harrison Mutikanga, the UEGCL executive director, said an assessment that had been conducted by Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) had noted that UEGCL costs were cheaper by $ 2.7m (Shs9.9b) compared to the previous operators. 

Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) has put in place cost controls and competent staff that will ensure that the Namanve Thermal Power Plant is maintained on a low- cost operation trajectory throughout the 20-year generation license period of.

Speaking during a site tour of the thermal plant in Namanve, Mukono District, Dr Harrison Mutikanga, the UEGCL executive director, said an assessment that had been conducted by Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) had noted that UEGCL costs were cheaper by $ 2.7m (Shs9.9b) compared to the previous operators. 

The tour sought to guide Eng Proscovia M. Njuki, the ERA chairperson, on the progress so far made since UEGCL took control of the plant about two and half months ago. 

The tariff as per the generation license is $5 cents per megawatt per hour for variable costs while fixed costs are $6.24 cents per megawatt per hour from the fourth-year to the twentieth year.  

The rest of the costs are passed through and are related to the heavy fuel oil, which is used for power generation. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the tour, Eng Njuki said the power plant had returned to normal power production in accordance with the provisions of the Generations License and the Power Purchase agreements. 

The plant plays a cardinal role of energy security for the grid producing an average 5,168 megawatts at a 99 percent plant availability since the takeover.  

The power plant has an installed capacity of 50.2 megawatts and it’s capable of producing a full load of electricity when called upon during emergencies. 

However, it currently operates at seven megawatts in order to keep the seven engines running and ready at all times. 

UEGCL is also undertaking a detailed technical assessment of the power plant to quantify the actual necessary cost to undertake a number of scheduled unit overhauls and make improvements on the civil structures and exterior works, which shall result in improved reliability and safety. 

The overhaul is also in line with building internal capacity which the board noted that so far 43 Ugandans are employed as full time staff to operate the power plant.

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