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Twenty Ugandans complete training on dams operation and maintenance

By John Odyek

Added 31st May 2018 01:00 PM

The minister noted that 21% of Ugandans have access to electricity from the national grid and the drive was to increase that figure to 50% in three years’ time.

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The minister noted that 21% of Ugandans have access to electricity from the national grid and the drive was to increase that figure to 50% in three years’ time.

PIC:The State minister for Energy and minerals development, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga (left) hands over a certificate to a staff of Uganda Electricity generation Company Limited (UEDCL), Flavia Anyiko (right)at the training's closing ceremony at Sheraton Hotel Kampala on May 25. (Credit: Ronnie Kijambu)
 
BUSINESS
 
KAMPALA - Twenty Ugandans have completed an executive training programme in hydropower operation, maintenance and asset management.
 
The trainning was aimed at equiping Ugandans with skills to enable them manage Uganda’s forthcoming two large hydropower dams.
 
The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) is fixing a team of 100 Ugandans for the operation and maintenance of the flagship projects of Karuma (600mw), Isimba (183mw) hydro power plants that are about to be commissioned.
 
The team will also improve the supervision of the operations of the existing Nalubaale-Kiira (380mw) hydropower plants.
 
State minister for energy, Eng. Simon D’Ujanga while presenting certificates to the participants who completed the training said the country has progressed in increasing the generation capacity and their maintenance was vital.
 
“The next stage is to efficiently manage the generation facilities and efficient generation is the key to achieving affordable tariffs,” D’Ujanga said.
 
The function took place at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Friday. The two week training was conducted by US experts.
 
The Executive exchange on hydropower operations, maintenance and asset management’ training was part of an executive exchange programme being implemented, in partnership with the USAID, Power Africa, the United States Energy Association and the US based Chelan County Power Utility Distributor.
 
D’Ujanga added that the training was timely given that Karuma and Isimba are expected to be commissioned in December and August respectively.
 
The minister noted that 21% of Ugandans have access to electricity from the national grid and the drive was to increase that figure to 50% in three years’ time.
 
David Rogers, private sector unit leader at USAID said Power Africa helps to bring private sector capital where there are good projects in the power sector in Africa. Rogers said with sufficient power the Uganda economy can grow.
 
Eng. John Yale, chief engineer for generations at the Chelan County Public Utility Distributor (PUD) said they were supporting Uganda in building capacity for operation and maintenance of hydro power projects.
 
Dr. Eng. Harrison E.Mutikanga, chief executive officer UEGCL said a team from Uganda would be sent to USA to learn how similar hydropower plants have been successfully managed and operated over the years.
 
Mutikanga said the support for these training programmes and capacity building are a result of the collaboration between the US Government and UEGCL.
 
The chairperson of the board of UEGCL, Eng. Proscovia Margaret Njuki said the Chelan County agreed to twin with the UEGCL in 2017 to enhance its capacity in power generation and maintenance of the power plants.
 
One of the participants, Flavia Anyiko, a risk manager UEGCL said they learnt that operating dams involves preventing breakdowns, accidents, ensuring safety, planning for the fluctuating exchange rates which cause financial risks.
 
Dr Jemimah Akiror, an electrical engineer who works as a maintenance manager at Karuma said they learnt that they have to build a culture where everyone realises that they have a role to play in the maintenance and operations.

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