A local Ugandan outfit, Electrical Controls and Switches (ECS), has launched an assembly and repair facility for electrical transformers in the country to meet the increasing demand for distribution of electricity in the fast electrifying Ugandan economy.
Hitherto, ECS was trading in Power Distribution Transformers. But will the local assembly, the company said “will help ECS to ensure optimum quality of the transformer. We will have a complete testing facility to test and check all major in coming raw-materials used in manufacturing the transformer.”
Amelia Kyambadde, Uganda’s Minister of Trade & Industry praised the initiative saying, “For Uganda to manufacture transformers is a very big achievement we should celebrate because it is in line with the Build Uganda Buy Uganda policy so that we do not have to import these products to use in homes and industries,” she said.
Electrical Engineer James Kalibala, the proprietor of ECS said the plant will manufacture in-house coils, winding wires and strips, which will help to ensure quality of the transformers. “Our fabrication section will ensure the robustness, quality and fine finish of the tank and radiators of the transformer,” he said.
He said the demand for distribution transformers is growing in the country given current government efforts to extend electricity to rural areas through the Rural Electrification Programme and increasing urban power demand for industries and commercial buildings.
“The demand for these transformers is likely to increase considerably. At present there is only one company producing locally most of the supply is through importation, “ Kalibala said.
Uganda is currently making heavy new investments into electricity generation that is expected to generate over 1,500MW of electricity in the next 2-3 years. At the same time, government is investing to extend electricity to different parts of the country to spur processing and industry. The US$2.5 million ECS investment is therefore timely. The country currently has only one other transformer manufacturer.
The chairman f Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) decried that high cost of capital that impeded Uganda’s industrialists from further investments. Commercial interest rates in the country currently range between 18-22 per cent, compared to 0.5-1 per cent in countries like China.