Uganda imports electricity from Kenya after floods shut off dam

Government has started importing 60 megawatts of electricity from Kenya to curb power outages in the country following floods that shutdown the generators and turbines at Isimba hydro-power dam last week.

Isimba dam

Yesterday, Tuesday August 16 2022, the Minister of Energy, Ruth Nankabirwa, released a statement addressing the shutdown of the dam on Monday last week and the measures taken to safeguard workers and mechanical equipment.

The shutdown was due to operation challenges that led to the flow of water into the powerhouse. The shutdown was undertaken as a safety procedure to ensure safety of staff and protection of electro-mechanical equipment,” Nankabirwa said.

In the same statement, she said that the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has since started renovation works at the dam but it would take three weeks to have the dam up and running again. In the meantime, the company has turned to Kenya to close the supply gap.

The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited(UETCL) is undertaking measures to ensure continuity of electricity supply including importation of 60 megawatts of power from Kenya,”Nankabirwa said.

However, at certain times, some people will have power while others will be experiencing outages and vice versa for the next three weeks. This was a directive from government to UETCL to implement load shedding to balance out power supply with demand.

Presently, Uganda has capacity of 1,250 megawatts, of which Isimba dam contributes 185 megawatts, and consumption is at 650 megawatts at peak hours.

The surplus is exported to Kenya, Tanzania, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

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