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Namanve plant reduces load-shedding

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th November 2008 03:00 AM

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday commissioned the 50 mega watt Namanve thermal power plant that is expected to reduce day-time load-shedding.

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday commissioned the 50 mega watt Namanve thermal power plant that is expected to reduce day-time load-shedding.

By Sylvia Juuko

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday commissioned the 50 mega watt Namanve thermal power plant that is expected to reduce day-time load-shedding.

“With the commissioning of the plant, I am pleased to inform the nation that the power supply deficit at the evening peak is drastically narrowed to about 35 mega watts. This necessitates limited load-shedding in the evening. During the day and off-peak, there is no load-shedding,” he said.

Norwegian power firm Jacobsen Elektro built the plant, which it will later transfer to the Government.

The plant that cost Euros 66m, was financed by the Norwegian government through a NORAD grant, Nordea bank Norway, Stanbic bank Uganda, Jacobsen Elektro and a GIEK guarantee.
Museveni added that the new plant would not impact on the end-user tariffs because it uses heavy-fuel oil (HFO) that is cheaper than ordinary diesel.

“The unit cost for HFO generated electricity was $14 cents per kilowatt hour compared to $24 cents per kilowatt hour for diesel generated power. However, hydropower is the cheapest at a cost $4-6 cents per kilowatt hour,” the President explained.

Diesel-fired thermal plants producing a total of 150 megawatts were set up at Lugogo, Mutundwe and Kiira in Jinja at the height of the power shortage. The Namanve plant is expected to replace the Lugogo plant.

Museveni called for the arrest of power thieves, noting that 20% of losses are attributed to theft.

“This vice should be fought by all leaders and residents in their localities. Power thieves disrupt development efforts because companies incur losses and fail to expand and increase power supply.

“Power thieves are our enemies and should be reported and arrested.”
Museveni called upon Umeme to install prepaid meters to ensure power users manage their consumption.

To minimise power losses, he added, Umeme was improving its distribution network through a new billing system that is expected to be launched in November.

Museveni said the Government was diversifying sources of power supply through short to long-term interventions.

He outlined measures that included building the 250 mega watt Bujagali plant that would be completed by June 2010. Other projects include the 50-80 mega watt project at Kaisotonya that is expected to be completed in 2010.
He said the Government would go on with the Karuma hydropower plant after Norpak pulled out.

“We have opted to develop Karuma as a public project using our own resources. Construction works will start in 2009.”
He added that the Kakira sugar works had expanded its capacity to 19 mega watts and were selling 12 mega watts to the national grid, while Kinyara was producing five mega watts.

Museveni said the new strategy was to anticipate power demand and plan for it as opposed to chasing demand. He disclosed that the Government had set aside a subsidy of sh92b annually until 2010 in a bid to keep end-user tariffs at reasonable levels.

Johan Svendsen, the chairman of Jacobsen Elektro, said his company got a license to construct the plant in September 2007 after a two-year delay.

“The plant was constructed in record time despite all the problems, including the post-election violence in Kenya and delays in transport,” he said.
He said work started in January this year, with the last engine installed in July.

“The first delivery of energy to the grid was on August 7, while commercial operation was on September 16. We are pleased to present a power plant with state-of-the-art engines. We are confident it will serve for many years,” he said.

He said they were planning to use heavy fuel from the refinery to be built at Kaisotonya in Hoima.

Uganda’s current power supply is 255 mega watts, yet the country needs about 280 megawatts.

Namanve plant reduces load-shedding

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