Uganda’s Karuma dam to generate power from June: govt


The Ugandan government says its flagship hydropower project, the 600MW Karuma dam on the River Nile, will start to generate electricity this June in phases, as damage on some transmission lines pushes back timelines for distribution.

Officials this week said the launch date will not be adjusted, inspite of the technical challenges on the project in the past months.

“The commissioning date remains unchanged,” said Proscovia Njuki, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd chairperson. In his latest report released last December, Uganda’s Auditor General — for the third year in a row — cast doubt on the commissioning of the $1.7 billion hydropower project within the timelines, citing delayed land procurement to give right of way for transmission lines to evacuate the power from Karuma.

“I noted that the completion of land acquisition process or the Resettlement Action Plan for the 132kV Karuma-Lira Transmission Line and Karuma Dam Reservoir, remain outstanding,” says the report.

However, Pamela Byoruganda, spokesperson of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, said only the 66km Karuma-Lira 132kV line will be delayed due to repairs after vandals damaged 26-km worth of power transmission infrastructure.

“It’s significant damage, and so the timelines for this line are being set back,” she said.


She added that the 264-km Karuma-Kawanda and the 60km Karuma-Olwiyo lines — both 400kV lines — are complete, with a section of the former already energised, while the latter has one substation remaining, whose completion is at about 98 percent.

Karuma-Lira transmission line was slated for completion in December 2021.

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