The Uganda’s main electricity distributor-Umeme Limited has revealed that in this Financial Year, it’s to invest over USD83.3 million (Shs 310 billion) purposely to increase grid connections and reliability of power to its customers.
The revelation was made by, Selestino Babungi, the Umeme’s Managing Director on Monday where he said that the company is to invest Shs 310bn this year since it’s one of the company’s investment agendas of 2019-2025 that will cost over Shs1.7 trillion.
“In 2020, Umeme, secured approval from the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) and has gone ahead to allocate USD83.3 million to 6 critical areas of the business, which when completed, will see us reliably connect over 300,000 customers this year alone,” said Babungi.
According to Babungi, 6 critical areas will include addressing energy losses and improve operational efficiency which will cost around Shs 100.3bn, addressing load demand growth at a cost of Shs 85bn and improving power supply reliability at Shs70.5bn
The Shs40.2bn will then be used in evacuation and supply of electricity from various generation facilities across the country, network systems, automation will consume over Shs7.2bn, and network protection and security Shs7.7bn.
“With the new capital investments we expect to boost our new customer connections to about 250,000- 300,000 per year, while at the same time investing in leveraging technology and business process improvements to reduce power losses and continue delivering more reliable power affordably,” he said.
Babungi added, “Umeme would like to reassure especially our government stakeholders that we are committed to supporting the government of Uganda’s agenda of modernizing her people, create jobs, and increase household incomes through provision of efficient electricity distribution services.”
Umeme’s plan follows the approval of the new contract from the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), and also the plan is to work hand in hand with the government’s Electricity Connections Policy (ECP) 2018-2027, that is targeting to increase access to electricity from the current 28 per cent to 60 per cent by 2027 and then 80 per cent by 2040.
Region-wise, over Shs5.8 billion has been allocated to remove lines from the new Karuma Hydro Power Dam, purposely to address demand growth in and around the Gulu district. Also, Shs4.9 billion will be spent on the reconfiguration of the Gulu substation to supplement and improve the old substation infrastructure in order to address the issue of overloading the existing transformers.
In Entebbe, over shs5.1bn will be spent to meet the growing needs of the real estate sector as well as the ongoing Entebbe Airport expansion and the finishing of the new substation is being built at Nakasamba SS.
In Kampala, Umeme will spend over Shs7.8 bn replacing obsolete power transformers and switchgear at the Ntinda substation with new 33kV gear to address the quality of supply in the Ntinda area. In Nakawa division over Shs6.3bn will also be injected into a new substation in Nakawa, Kampala to address the growing power demand from housing developments and industrial areas in the Nakawa and Bugolobi areas.
Shs6.8bn will be injected into network refurbishment in Njeru Municipality, Jinja district and lastly Shs6.7bn will cater to replacing new transformers across the country.
According to Babungi, this year Umeme is expected to connect more people than last year where over 180,000 new customers were connected of whom 178,152 were financed by the Government and development partners under the Electricity Connections Policy.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org