Uganda to buy electricity from Kenya after Isimba dam damage

Wednesday August 17 2022
isimba dam

The Isimba hydroelectric power station in Uganda. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Uganda plans to buy 60 megawatts from Kenya to plug a power shortfall gap caused by flooding at the 183MW Isimba dam that was temporarily shut down.

The powerhouse at the $568 million reservoir was nearly submerged last Monday, short-circuiting switchboards and electric motors. The cost of the damage is yet to be established but is estimated at billions of shillings.

Energy minister Ruth Nankabirwa told the Monitor that they have finalised plans to evacuate power from Kenya and would pay it back in kind when the dam is restored. “We had to gather around so that we do not suffer a big load shedding,” she said.

China’s Exim Bank financed 80 percent of the dam, commissioned in March 2019.

Uganda generates 1,254MW, of which 1,004.3MW is from hydro dams. The average demand peaks at 800MW.

Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the top markets for Uganda’s surplus electricity.