Eskom hands back management of Nalubaale and Kira hydropower stations to Uganda’s UEGCL

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  • South Africa’s power utility, Eskom, is handing back the management of Nalubaale and Kira hydropower stations back to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), after a 20 year concession expiry.
  • From next month, the two power generation plants, with a combined capacity of 380MW will be operated by UEGCL.

Eskom made life extension investments of US$52 million in the two facilities. The major equipment at Nalubaale was given a remaining useful life of 10-40 years by Hatch Ltd, a Canadian engineering firm, where zero years had been assessed in the baseline report.

Emmanuel Mutikanga, the Chief Executive Officer at UEGCL, will head up the two plants effective next week. “It would be easy to operate them since they are going to continue with the Eskom personnel, they are needed for their experience in operating equipment that might be becoming obsolete,” said Mutikanga.

Inside the Eskom run 50 year old 180MW Nalubaale power station in Uganda. Image credit: UEGCL

The Chief Executive Officer at the Electricity Regulatory Authority, Ziria Tibalwa Waako said in their assessment as regulators, Eskom inherited the plants in a bad shape and has invested a lot to strengthen them and increase their lifespans. The government has commissioned an audit into the operations of the company to determine how much the government may owe Eskom after the handover.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Batebe commented that there is no buyout determined yet and they are awaiting the outcome of the audit. “This is mainly because the company was yet to recoup its investment by the time it handed over the assets back to the government,” said Batebe.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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