By Ibrahim Kasita & Enock Kakande
TESTS have started on the over $860m Bujagali Hydropower Project that is expected to start producing electricity for the national grid next month.
According to the project developers, the project will reduce acute power supply shortages. Bujagali Hydropower Project was expected to be completed in June but was postponed to October.The project is expected to be commissioned by April 2012.
“Another 50-megawatt unit will be commissioned one month later,” said Bill Growth, the project construction manager.
“Most of the civil works are complete. Our major task now is to fine-tune the electro-mechanical processes to ensure that the turbines and other equipment are ready for power generation,” he added.
The announcement follows acute load-shedding due to a power supply deficit of up to 190 megawatts during evening peak hours, affecting at least 200,000 households across the country.
Julius Wandera, the Electricity Regulatory Authority spokesperson, confirmed that the demand for power is 445 megawatts, but electricity supply is 305 megawatts.
“This has caused 12-36 hours of load-shedding depending on the availability of power,” he observed.
To alleviate power supply shortages in the long-term, Uganda has commenced the construction of the 700-megawatt Karuma Hydropower Project.