Energy firms in all out effort to boost Northern Uganda electricity suppliesUmeme officials say they have doubled Gulu substation’s capacity to 10MW from the previous 5 MW to cope with the growing demand.
After long periods of instability in the past, Northern Uganda is now experiencing unprecedented economic growth, resulting in an increasing demand for electricity both for domestic and industrial use.
John Baptist Magulu Umeme’s Customer Service Engineer said they have doubled Gulu substation’s capacity to 10MW from the previous 5 MW to cope with the surge in demand.
“We are focusing our investments on upgrading the network to improve electricity reliability. The line from Lira to Gulu and Kitgum is being refurbished including installation of concrete poles in swampy areas,” Magulu said.
Umeme Limited, which is Uganda’s main power distributor and other sector players including the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited and the Rural Electricity Agency are now involved in critical projects intended to improve supply reliability in the region.
The company is also investing in equipment that will ensure faults in third party networks do not affect Umeme’s grid. Currently, UETCL is left with 20 kilometres to complete replacement of the 64-year-old 300-kilometre-long wooden pole line with pylons between Lira and Tororo districts in eastern Uganda. However the towers are less susceptible to the elements.
UETCL also is stringing a high voltage line from the Karuma Hydro Power Project to Lira. Once completed, it will mitigate the impact of faults that might happen between Tororo and Lira. Additionally, UETCL will put up a sub-station in Koro.
According to a release issued today, once the government avails funds, and UETCL secures the Right of Way, it will construct lines from Achwa to Gulu and Kitgum as well as extend the transmission grid from Lira through Gulu, Nebbi and finally Arua.
In the meantime, UEDCL has constructed a line from the 41MW Achwa to Umeme’s substation in Gulu while Umeme has provided a bay. Up to 90% distribution projects are complete and the remaining work will be concluded by end of March 2021.