The Government of Uganda through the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has established 22 Industrial Parks in selected areas in the country with the objective of promoting industrialization. To achieve this objective, UIA has acquired land in various places and is at various stages of planning and development. Among these is the provision of infrastructure which includes roads, water, power and waste disposal facilities.
Several investors have been allocated land on concessional terms, to establish their businesses in the new created industrial parksand have established industrial facilities ready to commence production.
Establishing businesses in the industrial parks will require adequate, reliable and efficient power supply to meet the vital Small, Medium and Large Scale industrial loads.
To achieve this objective,the Government of Uganda (GoU) through its implementing agency, the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) has handed over the sites and corridor for the industrial parks power substations and related transmission lines to a Chinese firm CAMC Engineering company ltd construct four industrial park substations at Luzira, Namanve south, Mukono and in Iganga.
UETCL has also engaged the services of an independent supervising consultant NEK Consults to supervise the project that is expected to be commissioned in 2018.
The Industrial parks power substations and transmission lines project will entail extension of the national electricity grid backbone by construction approximately 38km of the 132kV transmission lines.
This will include construction of a 5km 132kV metallic transmission line from the 132kV Nalubaale-Namanve transmission line to the proposed Namanve south industrial park substation, a 15 km of 132kV transmission line from the proposed Namanve south industrial park substation to the proposed Luzira industrial park substation, an 8km of 132kV transmission line from the Existing 132kV Nalubaale-Namanve transmission line to the proposed Mukono industrial park substation and a 10km 132kV transmission line from the existing Bujagali-Tororo 132kV to the proposed Iganga industrial park substation.
The industrial parks power projectwill also provide load centres for power that will be generated at the Karuma 600MW and Isimba 183MW Hydro Power Plants.In other words the sustainability of investments on Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Plants depends a lot on the industrial park sub stations project being implemented.
With the rapid growth in energy demand since 2005 when the country faced an electricity crisis, Government has therefore undertaken to construct the Karuma and Isimba Hydropower Projects to mitigate future energy supply shortages.
The Industrial parks power substations and related 38km of transmission lines are therefore justified on the reason that the existing 33kV distribution infrastructure is not able to meet the required future power demand for the growing industrial parks.
Once completed, the project benefits will include reduction of network losses due to the more efficient transmission of power on the 132kV voltage level compared to the current distribution of energy on 33kV level. There will be minimal diesel generation in Industrial Parks because of the reliable and efficient power supply by UETCL. Other benefits will include an increase in income-generating activities, increase in grid coverage and the electrification rate.
Construction of the Industrial parks substations and related transmission lines is to be funded by the Export Import Bank of China and the Government of Uganda for the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). The project cost is valued at US$ 999975885.35, Uganda Shillings 300bn payable in a period of 15 years. The Export Import bank of China will provide a loan of US$84,979,502.51million to construct the project and the Government of Uganda US$14,996,383.80 million for the RAP.
In March 2013, H.E the President of Uganda, YoweriKaguta Museveni and His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the Peoples’ Republic of China, at the BRICS Summit meeting held in South Africaagreedon terms and conditions of the financing for the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower and Associated Transmission Lines Project, 183 MW Isimba Hydropower and Associated Transmission Lines Project and the Namanve, Luzira Mukono, Iganga Industrial substations Project.
A participatory approach in the preparation of the project has been taken into consideration with interests of communities in the project areas, government agencies, and civil society, national and international NGO’s during design, planning and development.
UETCL will continue to interact with its stakeholders to incorporate their concerns during the construction process and operation of the project.