By Jacob Okwii
In a bid to bring about efficiency in operation and lowering the costs of energy in the country, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) has put in place an Operation & Maintenance (O&M) strategy and Business Model to govern its operation. The strategy focuses on attaining efficiency and financial sustainability through sound business principles and ensuring a long life span of its assets.
UEGCL is responsible for establishment, acquisition, maintenance and operation of electricity assets in the country. By law they are the owners of all public electricity generation plants.
According to Simon Kasyate, the UEGCL manager corporate affairs, the O & M model that has been developed by UEGCL and approved by its board has been adopted to handle its local capacity in the execution of their mandate.
“Good governance structures in place coupled with a strict operation and maintenance regime, we are in position to maintain efficient electricity which is affordable. We acknowledge that there have been some shoddy works in the past as we saw in Isimba dam works but, this has been addressed in order to make sure that there is value for money,”Kasyate said.
The company emphasizes acquisition and retention of high caliber human resources, which they train to high technical standards.
According to Kasyate, a team of Ugandan engineers has been sent to Zambia for apprenticeship training where they will experience and learn different on the job skills.
According to records, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant began operation in September 30, 1882 on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin in the United States with an output of 12.5 kilowatts. This power plant has lived for 135 years. Kasyate told to The Infrastructure Magazine, that power plants have life-spans, but how long they last depends on the Operation and Maintenance regime they are put under. Uganda’s first hydro power plant-The Owen Falls (now called Kiira) was built in the 1940s and commissioned in 1952.
Harrison. E. Mutikanga, the UEGCL CEO said their O&M strategy and Business Model will go a long way to bring about efficiency and cost effectiveness to successfully deliver their mandate.
UEGCL is currently overseeing the two main projects of Karuma power plant with capacity of 600MW and Isimba with 183 MW. These projects are expected to be commissioned in 2018-2019 respectively.