Uganda to refund Kenya 60mw of electricity supplied last week

High voltage power transmission lines. PHOTO | COURTESY

Uganda will pay back Kenya in kind the electricity that Kenya Power supplied it last week following power disruption in one of their dams that created a deficit in demand.

The landlocked neighbour had temporarily shut down Isimba Dam in Eastern Uganda last week after it flooded, leading to a power shortfall, forcing Kampala to import 60megawatts from Kenya to plug the gap.

At least two power generation units had been successfully restored at the dam by Friday as the plant geared up for full capacity operations by the end of the week.

Kenya had dispatched 60 megawatts to Uganda to deal with the deficit. The dispatches, however, gradually reduced to 40MW by last Friday when the first turbine of Isimba dam was restored.

“The government this week plans to export 50 Megawatts (MW) to Kenya as payment in kind for the power acquired last week to plug the gap occasioned by the emergency shutdown of Isimba hydropower dam,” Daily Monitor reported.

Uganda and Kenya maintain Power Purchase Agreements since 1964. Kenya is one of the export markets for Uganda’s surplus electricity, alongside Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kenya’s demand for power rose to 2,117 Megawatts (MW) in July in what saw its buffer capacity drop below the 100MW mark, sparking fears of power rationing from January.

Kenya’s available power is 2,200MW and the jump in demand reduced the country’s headroom of extra capacity from 140MW to about 80MW. Kenya will from November import 200MW from Ethiopia for three years to 2025.