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Huge investments to stabilise power supply in Northern Uganda

The new upgraded Gulu substation.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Northern Uganda has experienced unprecedented growth over the past years which has come along with increasing demand for electricity. Power distributor Umeme and other sector players including Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited and Rural Electrification Agency are undertaking critical projects to improve supply reliability in the region.

John Baptist Magulu, Umeme’s customer service engineer said, they have doubled Gulu substation’s capacity from 5MW to 10MW to cope with the growing demand.

“We are focusing our investments on upgrading the network to improve electricity reliability. The line from Lira to Gulu and Kitgum is being refurbished including installation of concrete poles in swampy areas,” Magulu said.

The company is also investing in equipment that will ensure faults in third party networks do not affect Umeme’s grid.

Besides Umeme, there are two utilities that are implementing projects aimed at improving power supply in northern Uganda.

UETCL is left with 20 kilometres to complete replacing the 64-year-old 300-kilometre-long wooden pole line between Lira and Tororo district in eastern Uganda with pylons. Towers are less susceptible to the elements.

The company is also stringing a high voltage line from Karuma Hydro Power Project to Lira. Once completed, it will mitigate the impact of faults that might happen between Tororo and Lira. Additionally, UETCL will put up a substation in Koro.

And once the government avails funds, and the utility secures the Right of Way, UETCL will construct lines too, from the Achwa to Gulu and Kitgum as well as extend the transmission grid from Lira through Gulu, Nebbi to Arua.

In the meantime, UEDCL has constructed a line from the 41MW Achwa to Umeme’s substation in Gulu while Umeme has provided a bay.

Up to 90% distribution projects are complete and the remaining work will be concluded by end of March 2021.

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