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The power trade project in East Africa, linking Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda is experiencing delays due to lack of infrastructure required to complete the works.

Chief executive of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company, Erias Kiyemba, told local media the EastAfrican that the partner States will not be able to meet the new deadline that had been shifted to April this year.

Kiyemba stated the reason for this as challenges linked to delays by the contractor.

“We are behind schedule…The transmission lines are not yet complete because of delays with the contractor, both on the Ugandan and Rwandan side. Even if we had finished ours, the Rwanda side is also facing challenges… they haven’t finished theirs, and power can’t jump,” he noted.

Power trade –beginning of 2015

The media reported that this project forming part of the Northern Corridor Infrastructure Projects was initially planned by the three countries to start trading power by the beginning of 2015.

However, so far Rwanda has managed to complete a high voltage 220kV interconnection electric grid transmission line to tap power from western Uganda, but the Birembo/Shango sub-stations are reported to be running behind schedule.

A sourced only known to the East African, said that they plan to complete the sub-stations by October. “We experienced some delays in our Birembo/Shango sub-stations, but we are now at 80% complete,” the source said

Furthermore, a media statement revealed to the East African from Rwanda’s Ministry of East African Affairs read: “The Kagitumba-Mirama-Shango line was completed in October last year.”

Rwanda experience more blackouts

According to the World Bank, Rwanda experiences the highest number of power outages in the region averaging 14 blackouts per month, as such the acceleration of this project would benefit the country.

Meanwhile, to avoid frequent power cuts and heavy reliance on fuel-generated power, Rwanda has reported that government has targetted to import at least 15MW from Uganda, 30MW from Kenya and an additional 400MW from Ethiopia.