KAKIRI – Power distributor Umeme will put up a $1.3 million (Shs 4.9 billion) substation to improve the quality of power in Kakiri, Nansana and Wakiso Arnold Kalyegira the project manager has revealed.
He said these zones currently rely on the Kawanda and Busunju feeders, which, given the area they traverse, are prone to current drops.
“Umeme will spend the money on land acquisition, plant and guard houses, two large transformers, switchgear and protection relays,” he said.
Additionally, it will expend on power cables, earthing, SCADA system and on storm water drainage, among others.
Kalyegira said Umeme is now in the course of procuring a contractor to execute the work.
He added that the Kakiri substation will limit power supply interruptions that would have resulted from the decommissioning and redesign of the Namungoona substation.
According to Kalyegira, Kakiri, Nansana and Wakiso are fast-growing areas when it comes to power use because they are home to many of Kampala city’s workers as well as to an army barracks and some factories.
“The issue is reliability,” Kalyegira said.
He added that, “In Kakiri alone, unmet demand for power is projected to increase by 19 per cent between now and 2026 while in Nansana’s case there will be a 13 per cent rise. Umeme, which as of December 2018 had over 33 substations and 12, 631 transformers, intends to put up more.”
The distributor, which presently has 1.5 million customers, plans to connect two million more premises to the national power grid within the next five years. This is in line with the government’s free Electricity Connections Policy (ECP through which the government intends to increase percentage of Ugandans accessing electricity from 25 per cent (2019) to 60 per cent by 2027 Kalyegira stated.
Continuous investment in power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure is essential to ensure reliable electricity supply, according to the Doing Business Report 2017.
The report notes that without investment in generation, generation capacity would “quickly be overtaken by rising demand” while aging infrastructure would result in “increased losses and deterioration of the reliability of supply”.