Uganda will make an emergency purchase of power from neighboring Kenya to stabilize supply after floods forced the shutdown of its 183-megawatt Isimba plant last week.
Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said “Uganda will purchase 60 megawatts from Kenya and will restart an idled 50-megawatt thermal plant in Kampala. An additional 20 megawatts will be generated by the Kakira sugar plant, which uses cane pulp to generate electricity.”
Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. expects to restart production at the Isimba hydropower plant within three weeks but will implement rolling power outages in the meantime to balance supply and demand.
Isimba, located about 80 kilometers northeast of Kampala along the Nile River, was built by China International Water and Electric Corp. and began operation in March 2019. According to the Electricity Regulatory Authority, the Export-Import Bank of China provided a loan of $482.5 million for the $567.7 million project.
According to the regulator, Uganda has an installed generation capacity of approximately 1,347 megawatts, with hydropower accounting for 80% of that capacity, and peak demand is approximately 800 megawatts.