Umeme Limited, Uganda’s largest power distributor has invested up to USD15.2 million (UGX55.7 billion) to improve both power supply quality and reliability in the greater Mbale area. This includes both Mbale city and surrounding districts such as Sironko, Manafwa, Kibuku, Pallisa, Kumi, and Kapchorwa.
Of this investment, USD9.23 million (UGX34 billion) is being invested in the Siti 2 Project, while USD5.99 (UGX22 billion) has been allocated to the Tangshan Mbale Industrial Park Project. Both projects are ongoing. The Siti 2 project is due for completion by end of August 2020, while the Tangshan project is due for completion at the end of 2020.
On completion, both projects will increase the supply of stable and reliable power in the area by three-fold, from the current 20 MW to well over 61 MW.
Siti 2 Project includes evacuating power from the new 16.5 MW Siti 2 Hydro Power Project (HPP) on River Siti in Bukwo District via 125-kilometre 33kV single circuit double poles line to Umeme’s Mbale substation, on the outskirts of Mbale City. At the substation, the power will be stabilized at a state of the art switching station and plant house for distribution to industrial, commercial and residential clients.
To meet the anticipated faster-than-normal growth in demand following the launch of the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park, Umeme’s Tangshan Mbale Industrial Park Project is extending an additional 25 MW from the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited’s (UETCL) substation in Mbale via a 75km power line. Once power reaches the industrial park, it will be stabilized at a new under-construction switching station and then distributed via a 10km power distribution network, also being built by Umeme. Umeme has also spent an additional USD1,000,000 (UGX3.7 billion) on compensating project affected persons along the line. This project that started on 7th May 2020 is scheduled for completion by the end of December 2020.
“The Mbale projects are one of our major investments for 2020 in support of government’s efforts to attract industries and jobs in the eastern region,” Babungi told the media on a recent tour.