Chinese-built power plant in Uganda launches fourth turbine set, moving closer to completion

Updated: August 23, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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Albert Byaruhanga, project manager of the plant on behalf of the owner, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd., speaks during an interview with Xinhua at Karuma Hydropower Plant in Kiryandongo, Uganda, on Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

KIRYANDONGO, Uganda, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese-built Karuma Hydropower Plant, in north-central Uganda's Kiryandongo District, has successfully launched the fourth of its six turbine sets and synchronized it to the national grid, taking the project one step closer to completion.

Ding Tuqiang, project manager of Sinohydro Corporation Ltd., the construction contractor, told Xinhua that Monday's launch of the fourth turbine was a success, and the remaining two sets will be launched before the end of the year.

He said the power plant, constructed both on the surface and underground, below River Nile, can now generate 400 megawatts (MW) of electricity, with each turbine generating 100 MW.

"Right now, the four units can generate power anytime," Ding said, noting that production depends on the demand of the national grid, which now takes power from one unit as the country awaits completion of the reinstallation of transmission lines that were vandalized.

Albert Byaruhanga, project manager of the plant on behalf of the owner, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd., said the power plant is critical in addressing Uganda's inadequate power supply.

"Some years back, we were suffering from persistent power cuts, and that is more or less a thing of the past," he said. "We have more supply than demand at present."

The Karuma Hydropower Plant is one of Uganda's flagship projects financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, which finances 85 percent of the project. The rest is funded by the Ugandan government.

The plant, according to experts, is critical in meeting Uganda's increasing electricity demand in efforts to fast track the industrialization.

Karuma is the second power plant financed by China after the 183-MW Isimba Hydropower Plant. The commissioning of the Isimba plant contributed to raising Uganda's total power generation to 1,176.6 MW, up from 953.8 MW, according to government data. 

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Engineers are seen at Karuma Hydropower Plant in Kiryandongo, Uganda, on Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

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Albert Byaruhanga (L), project manager of the plant on behalf of the owner, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd., talks with his colleagues at Karuma Hydropower Plant in Kiryandongo, Uganda, on Aug. 21, 2023. (Photo by Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua)

Editor: Su Dan