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Uganda to Import Power From Kenya After Floods Shut Key Plant

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Uganda will make an emergency purchase of power from neighboring Kenya to stabilize supply after floods hit its 183-megawatt Isimba plant’s powerhouse last week, forcing a shutdown.

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(Bloomberg) — Uganda will make an emergency purchase of power from neighboring Kenya to stabilize supply after floods hit its 183-megawatt Isimba plant’s powerhouse last week, forcing a shutdown.

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The East African country will purchase 60 megawatts from Kenya and plans to restart an idled 50-megawatt thermal plant in the capital, Kampala, Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu said in a statement. An additional 20 megawatts will come from Kakira sugar plant, which produces power from cane pulp.

Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. targets to restart production at Isimba hydropower plant within three weeks, but will in the meantime implement rolling electricity outages to balance supply and demand, she said.

The government-owned Isimba, located about 80 kilometers northeast of Kampala, along the Nile River, was constructed by China International Water and Electric Corp. and started generation in March 2019. The Export-Import Bank of China provided a loan of $482.5 million for the $567.7 million project, according to the Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Uganda has an installed generation capacity of about 1,347 megawatts, 80% of which is from hydropower, while peak demand is about 800 megawatts, according to the regulator.



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