Public Anticipates Periodical Power Outages as Isimba Dam Shuts Down

This development comes as the recently constructed Isimba hydro-power dam was shut down due to over flooding of generators and turbines.

Public Anticipates Periodical Power Outages as Isimba Dam Shuts Down
Story by Businge Brian Franco \

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has forewarned the public of Load shedding and power outages in the next three weeks.

This development comes as the recently constructed Isimba hydro-power dam was shut down due to over flooding of generators and turbines.

The Government on August 08, 2022, officially shut down the 183MW Isimba Hydropower Plant in Kayunga District for three weeks.

In a statement released by the Ministry on Tuesday, Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa directed the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited(UETCL) to implement load shedding to balance power demand and supply.

Nankabirwa, also confirmed that the Plant was shut down following operational challenges and as a safety procedure for staff and protection of the electro-mechanical equipment.

Nankabirwa however stated that the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited – UEGCL is working around the clock to restore power production at Isimba Hydropower Plant within three weeks.

She added that in the meantime, Uganda will import approximately 60 megawatts of power from neighboring Kenya.

This is in addition to the transmitting of up to 50 megawatts of power from Namanve Thermal Power Plant; dispatching of 20 megawatts from the Kakira Power Plant and optimization of the generation capacity of the available power plants across the country.

Nankanbirwa has also reassured the public that the sector is working to ensure the situation is normalized as soon as possible.

Uganda’s power generation plants have the capacity to produce about 1,346 megawatts, according to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), as of December 2021, while the demand stands at about 800 megawatts.

This leaves a surplus (idle capacity) of 546 megawatts, the main generation plants being Nalubaale Power Station with 180 megawatts and Bujagali Power Dam with 250 megawatts, while Kiira Power Dam and Isimba have 200 and 180 megawatts respectively, of installed capacity.

The Construction of the 600 megawatts Karuma Hydropower Plant, being built by China’s Synohydro Corporation on the Nile is expected to be commissioned in 2022.

Uganda also exports electricity to neighboring Kenya and part of Tanzania, eastern DR Congo, and South Sudan through UETCL.

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