Kampala. The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has inspected the $567.7 million (Shs2.1 trillion) Isimba Hydropower Dam in Kayunga District ahead of its commissioning slated for next week.
President Museveni is expected to commission the dam where 85 per cent of the contract value is a loan from the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of China and 15 per cent is a direct contribution from government.
The head of communication and corporate affairs at Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), Mr Simon Peter Kasyate, said Ms Kadaga inspected the site to check the progress of the project which spans Kayunga and Kamuli districts.
Ms Kadaga, also the Kamuli Woman MP, reportedly commended UEGCL for ensuring the contractor completes the job.
A source who attended the inspection, said Ms Kadaga asked the contractor to expedite the bridge construction because it is behind schedule.
Mr Kasyate said since December last year, UEGCL started on load tests for each turbine unit and that by end of January, all the four turbines had been successfully tested.
“Since then, Isimba has been generating some test capacity on the grid, depending on demand from UETCL -the bulk buyer (off taker). From March 21, the 183MW facility shall commence commercial production of electricity,” he said.
Mr Kasyate said when all the factories are in full operation, they are likely to exhaust the 183MW produced by Isimba.
“Large industries and manufacturing have a ripple effect from employment creation, spurring small auxiliary businesses like distributorships to generally improving standards of living leading to increased consumption. Without sufficient and reliable electricity like what Isimba portends, all this would be lost,” he said.
Last week, several factories were commissioned in Mbalala-Mukono and other areas.
They include Simba and Hima Cement Factories in Tororo, Osukulu Phosphate in Tororo, Sino-Uganda Industrial Park in Mbale, Kapeeka Ceramic and Fruit Processing in Nakaseke, Atiak Sugar Factory in Amuru; Soroti Fruit Factory and Global Tea Factory in Bushenyi, among others.
Mr Kasyate said Isimba will have a huge positive effect on the economy both in the short and medium term.
“There will be need to have more electricity capacity added to the grid for example from Karuma and all the other projects now under construction and or prospecting to meet the ever growing demand,” the UEGCL official said.
Mr Kasyate said through the Community Development Action Plan, they have already commissioned construction works at schools and health facilities at more than 10 sites in Kayunga and Kamuli districts as well as boreholes in the adjoining communities.