Power distributor Umeme has earmarked $1.7 million (Shs 6.2 billion) for a new substation in Nakawa, Kampala.
The 15/20MVA substation is in response to increasing demand in Nakawa, which currently relies on Lugogo substation. Lugogo substation serves Naguru and Bugolobi, besides Nakawa.
Johnson Okochi, Umeme’s projects investment manager, said during an interview in Kampala that once the Nakawa substation is complete – most probably in the last quarter of this year, the loads on the Lugogo substation would be split between the former and the new substation.
“There are many factories around Nakawa. So, the project is driven by the expansion of the industrial park. Those areas are currently fed by feeders from Lugogo substation. We are going to separate the loads; some loads will remain on the Lugogo substation, while some will be fed by the new substation,” Okochi said.
Umeme awarded the Nakawa substation contract to International Energy Technik Uganda Limited (IET), which, according to information on its website, designs and implements cutting-edge substation solutions.
The utility projects the substation will be ready by November this year and will address concerns about growth in demand in the area. Aside from putting up new substations, the power distributor is upgrading the equipment in other areas.
For instance, Ntinda substation is lined for a Shs 7 billion upgrade through which Umeme will replace the current 25-year-old switchgear with a new switchgear. Additionally, the overhaul is meant to make the two transformers at the substation compatible.
Once well-matched, should one develop a fault and cannot supply power, the second will seamlessly route some of its power to the areas that were picking from the other.
Ntinda substation serves 30,000 customers spread across Kisaasi, Kyambogo, Bukoto, Ntinda, Najjera and Kiwatule. When Umeme took over the distribution network from Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited, there were just 5,000 distribution transformers.
The number has since risen to 12, 631 as of December 2018 as a result of increased capital investment, according to the company’s accounts.