10 August 2012 – Ugandan newspaper, NewVision reports that Electromaxx, a private thermal power provider operating in Tororo district, is installing new machinery worth US$60 million to increase its electricity production from 20 MW to 80 MW.
This new capacity will become available during August 2012. The new Tororo plant will generate power from heavy fuel diesel, crude oil and gas. It will decrease the country’s dependence on hydro power, which is always affected by the dry season. “When there is a decline in the water levels during the dry season, the thermal electricity will act as our backup,” Kabagambe Kaliisa, the energy permanent secretary of Uganda says.
Also in Uganda, the 3.5 MW Nyagak hydroelectric power plant in the West Nile region has been tested with success. This development should put to an end power outages that the West Nile region has had to endure for a long time.
Frank Baker, the country director of the West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECO) said the direct testing and simulations was done under controlled conditions, with the technical commissioning to follow imminently.
The Nyagak hydro plant construction works, initially scheduled to last two years, began in 2006 under a private-public partnership. However the project was slowed due to mismanagement, financial constraints and a lack of technical capacity by Sobetra, the first construction company involved. In 2010 mounting pressure from the disgruntled public, WENRECO and the government saw to the cancellation of Sobetra’s contract.
Spencon Services then earned the contract and subcontracted FichtnerGmbh & Co. KG, a German company, and VS Hydro to do the civil works and electrical engineering, respectively. The project has cost an estimated US$15 million with US$8.8 million coming from the German development cooperation through KfW Entwicklungsbank.