Future Energy Central Africa

The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) has compiled a report revealing that Eskom Uganda Limited (EUL) is performing poorly on the maintenance of Kiira and Nalubaale hydroelectric power stations.

According to the Monitor, the analysis shows that the South African energy firm is transferring money out of the country without reinvesting it into the power plants, contrary to the conditions of the concession.

Incorporated in 2002, EUL was awarded a concession to operate and maintain Nalubaale and Kiira Hydro Power stations in Jinja for 20 years.

Poor maintenance

However, 14 years on, the report reveals a number of shortcomings. The main discrepency being the failure to run the 15 key units in the complex.

Only 13 are fully operational, which negatively impact on power generation capacity and availability, media reported.

According to the report, maintenance of critical equipment is also lacking with some failing to operate at normal levels, compromising the safety of the plant.

The report further stated that the switchyard computer, compressed air system and 110 VDC battery bank, all at the Kiira Power Station, have been badly maintained and are currently facing the risk of failing.

"Eskom Uganda Limited has performed satisfactorily from the production side; however, performance in respect to maintenance of the plant(s) is below expectation," part of the report read.

Eskom Uganda Limited

The Monitor reported that in response to these findings, Eskom said on the contrary, everything possible has been done to implement the Concession and Assignment Agreement (CAA) to the letter.

The 2002 agreement signed between UEGCL and EUL requires the South African electricity company to maintain and operate Kiira and Nalubaale hydroelectric power stations for a period of 20 years.

"This in itself points to the fact that Eskom has not fully complied with the CAA objective of restoring and maintaining the plant for posterity of the asset life, and there is an imminent threat of handing over (after the concession has expired) a derelict plant at the end of the concession," the report further reads.