KEC International Limited (India) is confident of delivering the multi-billion Arua power substation project by the September 30, 2022 deadline. It came after some residents and local leaders raised concern over the slow progress of works at 5.25 acres project site in Nyio cell, Oluko ward in Arua City Ayivu Division, saying that it could further derail efforts by the government to connect the region to the national grid.
During a joint meeting involving the local leaders, the contractor and officials from the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) early this week, the site supervisor, Yu Wei attributed the slow progress of the works to disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it difficult for them to mobilise personnel.
He said the Civil works are nearly complete, while the control room has also been roofed. According to Yu, they expect to receive key equipment like the 132KV transformers by the end of the month, which will trigger the installation works.
The government contracted KEC International Limited (India) and a joint venture of AVIC International Holding Corporation and Central Southern China Electric Power design Insitute Company Limited to construct the power substation.
Hiranmoy Talukdar, the consultant of the project, says that they are following international standards of quality assurance to implement the project.
Geoffrey Feta, the Ayivu East constituency member of parliament, said there is need to deliver the project on time for the benefit of the local community. He challenged the contractor to take advantage of the current dry season in the region to complete works that do not require rainy conditions.
The Arua substation is part of the four substations bankrolled by the World Bank at US$100 million. The others are in Nebbi, Gulu and Kole districts. Once completed, the substations will evacuate electricity from Karuma, Agago and Nyagak dams to West Nile and parts of northern Uganda and link these areas to the national grid.
Moses Obeta, the chairperson Arua business community, says that reliable electricity will greatly boost industrialization and investments in the region.
West Nile region has been grappling with unreliable electricity supplied by the West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECO). Currently, WENRECO supplies less than 8megawatz of power in the region from the Nyagak hydropower plant and thermopower from Electro-Max Uganda Limited.
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