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Fourth nationwide blackout in five months!

Work to remove a floating island in Jinja recently.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda on Thursday suffered a fourth nationwide blackout in five months, raising concerns about the state of the sector.

According to energy experts, the insistent nationwide blackouts raise questions on the stability of the country’s power supply and but also on whether the technical people in the sector know what actually is going on.

Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UTCL), which buys and transmits bulk power countrywide from where it’s generated said “investigations are ongoing to determine the cause and restore as fast as possible and inconveniences are highly regrettable.”

Experts say, it is rare for a country that generates more power than it consumes to keep experiencing nationwide blackouts monthly.

On April 14, May 9, June 22, and July 19, 2020, the country experience nationwide blackouts. The August 12, 2020, nationwide blackout brings the number to 5.

Eskom Uganda Limited, which operates the Nalubaale power station, said last month that the cause of blackout had been a bucket carrier that made contact with a live conductor during routine maintenance. It said investigations had begun.

In June, Electricity Regulatory Authority, the industry regulator, said there had also been a fault on a high voltage at Kiira power station. It promised a detailed investigation.

In April, the blackout was blamed on moving islands that reportedly blocked the turbines. Uganda has installed capacity of up to 1,250 megawatts with hydro accounting for 1000MW. The country can only consume up 800MW at peak.

Later this year, Uganda will commission the 600MW Karuma dam, increasing the power available to Ugandans.



One comment

  1. The repeated power blackouts raise questions like:

    -Isn’t this economic sabotage by a neighbouring enemy country ?

    -Are the power plants’ staff vetted by security ?

    -How robust is the physical security of these power plants ?

    -Is Eskom, a practically bankrupt company, able to carry out the routine maintenance?

    – Are the people appointed to run these power plants qualified/competent ?

    -Could this be conspiracy by country’s thermal power generators & UEGCL rogue staff etc to make money as these generators have lost millions of dollars that they were previously making when Uganda had limited power generating capacity.

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