MORE HYDRO POWER ON THE WAY IN UGANDA


Reports from the Nile river-Bujagali Falls hydroelectric plant are encouraging as completion of the project appears to be on time and the installation of the first of 5 turbines is underway. By November this year an initial 50 MW of cheaper hydro generated electricity will become available, to be progressively increased to the full 250 MW capacity by sometime in 2012.

Meanwhile will another 9 MW come on line from the Hoima district based Hydromax power plant by November, creating added capacity to feed an increasingly power hungry nation.

Only yesterday was it confirmed that in order to reduce the massive electricity shortages presently experienced across Uganda, that the generating company at the dam in Jinja was given expanded permission to use more water from Lake Victoria to reduce the daily shortfall, which was largely prompted by government running out of money to pay the contractually agreed subsidies to independent power producers and then banning diesel propelled plants due to the sharply risen cost of fuel. This prompted some thermal plants to go offline following the expiry of an ultimatum to pay up or else, making industries and businesses suffer from production interruptions and have half of the nation sit in darkness every other night.

No update could be received at this time over the planned Karuma Falls hydro project, as to how far planning and financing for the 600 MW project has reached and when construction, previously thought to start in 2012, would really commence. Uganda, as much of the region, has been suffering of regular power disruptions due to lack of sufficient rains filling up the reservoirs of hydroelectric plants in Tanzania and Kenya too, and fallen water levels of Lake Victoria have also restricted the Owen Falls and Kiira power plants in Jinja to an output way below possible capacity.

 

Compiled by Jackie
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