By Our Writer
The Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development, through the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) has announced the completion and powering of the new 132KV transmission line running from Opuyo in Soroti district to Moroto. This is the biggest investment yet on electricity infrastructure in Karamoja region, and will, for the very first time, deliver industrial level power from the national grid to districts in the region.
The 162 Km double circuit power line traverses the districts of Soroti, Amuria, Katakwi, Napak and Moroto. Funded by the Islamic Development Bank to the tune of US$103 million, the new power line, with a substation in Opuyo just outside Soroti town will bring about power stability and reliability in the north eastern districts. It is therefore expected that the new power will attract more industries to the mineral resources-rich Karamoja region. Currently the regions hosts the Tororo cement and marble factories in Moroto town.
The Project was implemented by UETCL under the Rural Electricity Project. Beside the power line and substation, the project also has some 709Km of distribution network of 33KV, installation of 104 transformers and electricity connections to 2,412 consumers in the 10 districts of Soroti, Moroto, Amudat, Napak, Nakapiripirit, Nabilatuk, Kotido, Kaabong, Abim and Kitgum.
The Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development in a statement signed by Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary said the Government of Uganda spent some Shs 3.2 billion for securing the transmission corridor line, but the local community gave free right of way corridor for the construction of the distribution component.
“We commend the community for allowing the project to pass through their land and assure them that this project will come with a lot of benefits towards socio-economic development of the areas it traverses,” Kasande said. He added that in some areas Government has gone through a lot of legal rigmarole with the local communities to get land access for public infrastructure. He gave the example of Tororo where a power line project has had a stand-off with a private land owner who has rejected Government compensation offers.
The project was undertaken by Ghodes Nira Engineering as consultants, Fara Frosta Bistoon company as the contractors for the transmission, Nanjing Dogi Steel Tower Manufacturing Co. for the distribution component.