As one of the ways to attain the projected National Development Plan and Vision 2040 and to boost economic development, the government, through the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) is implementing 14 new power projects in various parts of the country, in a bid to expand the national Transmission Grid.
The main objective of these projects is to increase power supply and reliability across the country through expanding the national transmission grid, which is the backbone of Uganda’s Power Systems that transmit electricity from main and small generation sources to the various Load Centres in several parts of the country which in turn supply the power to various consumers.
The website has established from UETCL that most importantly, the project will kickstart with the grid expansion and reinforcement Project for the Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua Transmission Line, which extends electricity to West Nile Sub-region, although it is not yet connected to the national grid.
By expanding the Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua Transmission Line, UETCL aims at increasing availability and efficiency of bulk electricity supply in the project areas covering parts of Northern and West Nile regions.
Information from UETCL engineers indicates that the 294km of 132kV transmission line from Kole, through Gulu and Nebbi, to Arua (KGNA) will involve the construction of new 132/33kV substations at Kole, Gulu, Nebbi and Arua.
We have established that the project is being implemented using funds from the World Bank, through the International Development Association (IDA) and Government of Uganda.
So far, the project is almost 70% complete, with 524 of 897 tower foundations completed, and 477 of 897 towers erected.
It should be noted that Michael Taremwa, the UETCL Managing Director, recently acknowledged the fact that the demand for electricity in West Nile is stifled because of low generation capacity, noting that UETCL in the process of stringing the transmission cables on the Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua 132kV Transmission Line Project in a bid to increase power supply to the West Nile region and to the region to the national transmission grid.
Taremwa however noted that UETCL hopes to have completed the project by March 2023, if all goes as planned and nothing disrupts their schedule.
Other Projects Under Construction
Besides the Kole-Gulu-Nebbi-Arua 132kV Transmission Line Project however, UETCL is also undertaking the implementation of other projects which include;
Kampala Metropolitan Transmission System Improvement Project
Given the rampant load-shedding and power outages within Kampala Metropolitan Area (KMA), the objective of this project is to reinforce the power transmission grid in the Metropolitan Area so as to have a reliable supply of electricity in future.
This particular project, which involves construction of new stations and upgrade of existing ones covers the following scope; Mukono – 3x125MVA, 220/132kV (New); Buloba –2x125MVA, 220/132kV; 2x40MVA 132/33kV (New); Kawaala – 3x40MVA 132/33kV; 1x20MVA 132/11kV (Upgrade), Mutundwe Substation reconfiguration to double busbar (Upgrade), Mobile Substation 1x20MVA, 132/33kV (new); Bujagali – 1x250MVA 220/132kV; Reconductoring to HTLS Mukono – Kampala North; Kampala North – Lugogo; Kampala North –Mutundwe).
According to UETCL, the project is being implemented using funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Government of Uganda.
Gulu – Agago 132kv Transmission Project
Aimed at addressing power shortages in the Northern sub-region, the Gulu-Agago 132kV transmission will provide transmission capacity evacuating power from the Agago/Achwa 88MW power plant to reinforce supply to the Northern and West Nile region, in a bid to cater for the region’s unserved demand.
The implementation of this project is to be done using funds from the German Development Bank (KfW) and Government of Uganda.
So far, UETCL engineers contend that excavation for tower foundations and 6/254 tower foundations have been completed and work at the project is progressing as planned.
Masaka – Mbarara 400kv Transmission Project
Besides reinforcing power supply in areas of Greater Masaka and Western Uganda, this project also aims at expanding transmission capacity to cater for Grid Interconnection between Uganda and Rwanda.
This is aimed at improving operational and technical performance of the interconnected grids, and promoting regional power trade and cooperation through sharing resources.
Under this project, UETCL will construct 400kV double circuit transmission lines between Masaka and Mbarara of length of 132km, and 2 X 220kV line bays at the Masaka and Mbarara substations.
Mirama – Kabale Transmission Project
With this one, UETCL aims at constructing a 132kV Mirama-Kabale transmission, which will reinforce the existing transmission capacity of 33kV, so as to enable provision of reliable, quality and adequate power supply to Kigezi sub-region.
This project will see the construction of a 132kV (85km) transmission line and related substation extensions at Mirama, and a new substation at Kabale.
This project is being financed by the Islamic Development Bank and Government of Uganda and is almost 50% complete, with construction of 100 out of 294 tower foundations completed, and Design & Engineering fully complete.
Kampala – Entebbe Expansion Project
Since the power supplied to Entebbe Municipality is mainly from the substations in Kampala Metropolitan Area, this project aims at providing transmission capacity to supply reliable and quality power to Entebbe town and suburbs.
The project involves the construction of 23.8km, 132kV double circuit Mutundwe – Entebbe Transmission line, extension of Mutundwe 132/33/11kV substation, and construction of a new 132/33kV double busbar substation at Entebbe.
Engineers from UETCL reveal that the design for this project is 96% complete, equipment delivery to site at 96% complete, civil works at 86.4%, equipment erection at 98%, and installation at 96.2%.
Interconnection of Electric Grids of Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries
The main objective of this project is improving access to electricity in the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) countries, through increased cross border sharing of energy and power.
Being an extensive project, its scope covers the construction of 220kV double circuit transmission line from Bujagali via Tororo substation to the Uganda/ Kenya border, over a distance of 131km, to cover the East.
To cover the West, the project involves the construction of a 220kV double circuit transmission line from Mbarara North substation in Uganda to the Rwandan border in Gatuna, covering a distance of 66km, plus extension of substations at Bujagali, Tororo and Mbarara, and the construction of a new 220/132/33kV substation at Mirama.
Funding for this project is to be sourced from the African Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Uganda.
In the meantime, engineers from UETCL reveal that the Bujagali-Tororo-Lessos line construction is 70% complete, with 353/402 tower foundations completed, 247/402 towers erected, and 22/131km of transmission line strung.
Taremwa revealed however that besides the above projects, UETCL is undertaking other projects which include; electrification of Industrial Parks, Tororo – Lira 132kV Transmission project, installation of the Mbarara-Nkenda Transmission Line, to mention but a few, which all aim at expanding the national transmission grid.