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The Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) will spend about $419.4m to improve the transmission infrastructure to meet the load demand requirements over the next five years. UETCL boss Eriasi Kiyemba says the investment will double the current transmission grid from 1,400km to approximately 2,800km of high voltage. This will also improve power supply, and reduce the rampant power blackouts. The investments are in line with government’s National Development Plan, which looks at electricity as the main factors that will catapult the country to middle- income status over the next two decades.

The $419.4 million project comes when UETCL has just concluded the Bujagali interconnection project which cost $227.82m. The Bujagali project involved the construction of 73km of 220kV double circuit transmission lines from Bujagali switch yard to the Kawanda substation. The company also built the 17.96km of 132kV double circuit transmission line from Kawanda substation to the Mutundwe substation.

UETCL will also embark on regional projects such as the construction of the transmission line and associated substation projects on the Bujagali - Lessos 127km of 220kV, and Mbarara - Mirama 66km of 220kV. These lines are to be implemented under a regional umbrella. The East African Community member countries have agreed to interconnect the East African electricity grid networks to mitigate future power crisis in the region and exploit the enormous energy resource potential available in the region.

The projects will help the member countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi) to share the most optimal generation resources available within the region. Industry players say the interconnections will further enhance grid stability and reliability.

“The implementation of the national and regional projects outlined above is a national priority and is a prerequisite to achievement of the objective of maintaining a vibrant energy sector to support the anticipated national economic growth,” Kiyemba said.

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