Eskom Uganda Ltd, a company that has been running the two government electricity generating plants in Jinja (Nalubaale and Kiira) will cease to run the two plants by March next year.
The company which has been managing and operating the plants for the last 19years says they have invested USD52m (approximately Shs2trn) since it started work.
We have however, learnt that cabinet has resolved not to renew the concession after the expiry of the current contract which ends in 2023 March.
“The concession is coming to an end in March 2023. UEGCL will takeover the management of the plants effective April 2023” says a source at UEGCL, adding that cabinet has already taken this decision to terminate Eskom contract.
“It’s a cabinet decision not to renew the concession. However, even Eskom said they are not interested in renewal of the contract” the source added.
Indeed Eskom Uganda Ltd has also confirmed it’s impending exit. According to Stephene Byaruhanga, the company’s Finance director, Eskom by March will be handing over assets to government.
With a total of 127 employees, Byaruhanga says Eskom has already been assured that 126 of its staff are going to be takeon by the successor company-UEGCL.
He says the company has through the years since 2003 todate invested USD52m part of which was fed into the complexes while another went towards human resource skills development.
Nalubaale is now 60years since it was opened by the late Queen while Kiira is close to 20years.
“By the time we took over, the number of breakdowns were at 89% but now reduced to about 10%. We have refurbished the plant and it’s our prayer that the transition is smooth and sustainable. We have invested a lot in skills development over the years” he told a public hearing meeting organised by Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) at Imperial Royale on tariff review applications for 2023.
He said that in 2003 when they took over management of Nalubaale, a Germany consultant gave a life span of merely 30years to the plant before it could collapse unless urgent remedial measurers had been done.
“Nalubaale has 60years more. Kiira is fairly new and has about 80years ahead to continue running. These two power plants are critical in our Energy Supply and it shows (that) it was important to concession the plant” he said.
He commended government for granting the company a chance and trust to run it’s assets and also being part of the socioeconomic transformation of Uganda.
With Thozama Gangi as Managing Director, Eskom is part of the five companies that have submitted applications to ERA for tariff review for 2023.
ERA Chief Executive Officer Eng Ziria Waako Tibalwa named the other companies as UEGCL, UETCL, UEDCL and Umeme Ltd.
As for Eskom, it submitted it’s application on November 9 2022 indicating that by the end of this year, it intended to add on investment assets amounting to USD6,880,765.74 all being financed by Eskom’s internally generated funds. Among the assets included NPS generator transformer replacement for units 3&5, Six alternator oil cooler nests, Unit 10 excitation uprade and NPS generator transformer replacement for unit 10. All these have since been completed according to Thozama Gangi.
Meanwhile, ERA board chairperson Dr. Sarah Wasagali Kanaabi commended Thozama for the job well done.
“You have been central in our women in energy agenda. You have inspired many girls to join energy. I thank you for all the accomplishments you have made to our sector” she said.
Eskom Uganda Ltd is the largest power generator in Uganda and was incorporated on November 22 2002 for a 20-year concession. The concession is expiring in March next year.
The plant performance was said to be at 98.11% as of October 2022.