Uganda has announced it will purchase an emergency short term power of 60 megawatts from Kenya to stabilize supply after last week’s heavy rains led to a shutdown of its 183-megawatt Isimba plant.
Reports indicate that facility at the reservoir was submerged last week, short-circuiting switchboards and electric motors. Uganda will evacuate power from Kenya and retart an idled 50 MW thermal plant in the capital, Kampala.
The country’s Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said in a statement that they will restart production at the government-owned Isimba hydropower plant within three weeks. The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company will in the meantime implement rolling electricity outages to balance supply and demand, she noted.
The 183MW Isimba Hydro Power Plant (HPP) is located 4km downstream of Simba Falls on the River Nile, and approximately 50km downstream of the Source of the Nile. The Power Plant was constructed by China International Water and Electric Corp. and started commercial operations on 30th/March/2019. The Export-Import Bank of China provided a loan of $482.5 million for the $567.7 million project.
According to Bloomberg, Uganda has an installed generation capacity of about 1,347 megawatts, 80% of which is from hydropower, while peak demand is about 800 megawatts.