Govt commissions Shs1 trillion Karuma interconnection project

Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, centre, flanked by other officials at Olwiyo substation in Nwoya District on Thursday. PHOTO | TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY

What you need to know:

  • Eng. Cecilia Menya, Energy Ministry’s Director for Energy Resources said that the government is working with development partners to increase access.

The Energy Minister Ms Ruth Nankabirwa on Thursday afternoon led a team of officials from the ministry and other stakeholders to commission the Shs1 trillion Karuma interconnection project.

“The Karuma-Kawanda line has been vandalized, so we are now looking for USD1 million approximately Shs370 billion for the contractor to re-establish the pylons, it is a huge setback,” she said.

Eng. Cecilia Menya, Energy Ministry’s Director for Energy Resources said that the government is working with development partners to increase access.

“We have developed the National Electrification Strategy to look beyond 2025 with a target of achieving universal access to electricity by 2030. This will necessitate implementing the connection of 10.4 million consumers both on the grid and off-grid. Together with the World Bank, we are undertaking a project targeting to achieve about 1 million connections for households, commercial enterprises, and industrial parks over a period of five years and is expected to start next month,” she explained.

The Karuma Interconnection Project, implemented by UETCL, was kicked off in October 2015 and was expected to be completed in 2018 whereas not.

The commissioning of Olwiyo and Lira substations and the Karuma-Olwiyo 400KV and Karuma-Lira (132KV) lines make a vital addition to the country’s transmission system networks.

It boosts the country’s total transmission network length to 3991km with 31 substations and a transformation capacity of 5815MvA.

The project is expected to meet the current and future demands of electricity within Uganda and its neighbours.

According to UETCL, the primary beneficiaries of these projects are the current and future electricity consumers in the project areas, Central, North and West Nile regions who will benefit from adequate and reliable energy supply furthermore.

Mr Joshua Karamagi, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd (UETCL) managing director, said that land acquisition was the biggest challenge that the company faced in implementing the project.

“Several challenges were encountered during the implementation of this project. Key among them was the way-leave acquisition, this greatly affected the timely delivery of the project, there were various PAPs that disputed their packages, and court injunctions, among others,” he said.

About the project

The government contracted Sinohydro Corporation Limited to construct the 600MW Karuma Hydropower Dam and the associated Karuma Interconnection Project (KIP).

Under KIP, the 400/220kV Kawanda substation, Karuma - Kawanda 400kV Transmission Line, 400/132/33kV Karuma Substation, Karuma-Olwiyo 400kV Transmission Line, 132/33kV Olwiyo Substation, 132kV switchyard extension of the Lira 132/33kV Substation and the Karuma-Lira 132kV Transmission Line was to be built.

Of the budgeted USD246.419 million (loan from Exim Bank) and USD43.486 million (by the government), USD225.8 million and USD 43.486 million representing 91.6percwent and 100 per cent respectively have been disbursed for the KIP.


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.