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‘Corruption and collusion caused the closure of the Isimba plant’

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  Lawmakers have said that corruption and collusion are to blame for the closure of the Isimba hydroelectric plant Members of Parliament responded to the statement by the Minister for Energy and Mining Development Hon Ruth Nankabirwa on the emergency closure of the plant The 183 megawatt Isimba hydroelectric power station in Kayunga district was closed on Monday August 8 2022 Nankabirwa told MPs that the plant was flooded due to maintenance work One of the generating units was out of use to allow the contractor to perform routine maintenance At the time of the incident scheduled work included the installation and testing of contractor supplied equipment for safe access to the power plant Nankabirwa said She said that while the Uganda Electricity Generation Company UEGCL operations and maintenance team was trying to create a safe working environment within the power plant work area a malfunction occurred that caused water to flow into the power plant Consequently the dam s safety procedures were automatically activated to ensure the safety of personnel the protection of equipment and production and the prevention of potential dam failures Investigations are underway to establish the cause of this incident Nankabirwa said She assured MPs that appropriate steps are being taken to restore power production within three weeks In these three weeks we have decided to use the manual mode The plant has two systems automated and manual Within three weeks we will start generation but not at full capacity full capacity will start in six weeks she said The Minister also clarified that the country s installed power generation capacity is 1 378 1 megawatts indicating excess generation relative to the country s maximum system demand of 900 megawatts including 50 megawatts of power export to Kenya It is important to note that without major system failures such as the loss of a major generating facility as we have experienced with the Isimba hydropower station Uganda s current total generating capacity is sufficient to meet our electricity demand current he said Nankabirwa added that power from some of the plants is not fully evacuated due to a lack of transmission and distribution infrastructure The Southern Bugabula County MP Hon However Maurice Kibalya asked the Minister to be very interested in the real cause of the complete closure saying that it was intentional The issue that happened was not the flood the problem was technical and chances are they are intentional Take interest in the cost of the thermals after the closure of Isimba you ll see Some of these things are not by accident or mistake Kibalya said Hon Abigaba Cuthbert NRM Kibale County said that by generating more than the country consumes the country is spending a lot of money and yet it cannot be consumed In engineering studies it means that our engineers are not doing a good job for us so there is a problem That is why I want to side with my brother Hon Kibalya that they are in some kind of sabotage or possibly the ministry has run out of competent engineers to manage the system he said The Kigorobya County Deputy H E David Karubanga said that the minister stopped short of disclosing the real cause of the total closure When there is a flood it is a failure in the power supply and the irrigation pumps or leaks that exceed the drainage system I also join other colleagues who want to say that the construction of electric dams has been a big problem he said Hon Agnes Atim Apea NRM Amolatar District said the closure shows inefficiency and poor planning of electricity generation If you know the electricity generation capacity and one plant goes out I don t see how it affects the whole system Every year we appropriate more than 100 billion Shs for energy how do you start generating what you know you can t evacuate Either it is collusion or corruption she said The deputy of the county of Aringa Sur Hon Yorke Alioni Odria questioned why the country is generating excess power and yet some parts of the country like West Nile have a shortage of power supply The minister should be clear about this She needs to tell Parliament the way forward we are not going to get loans and the money is not used The country is losing No kidding this country is sinking because people are not sincere she said Hon Lillian Aber NRM Kitgum District also asked the minister to pay close attention to contractors saying most of them do not deliver The minister must take a great interest and ensure that contracts are awarded to people who comply We have had the issue of installing the transformer and it has taken four years The providers let us down in terms of quality she said Deputy of the Kimaanya Kabonera Division Hon Abed Bwanaki called for a thorough investigation of the energy sector 81 percent of Ugandans are not connected to the electricity grid but energy is the engine of the economy but people cannot access energy he said Vice President Thomas Tayebwa referred the matter to the Natural Resources Committee and gave a three week deadline for the report Make sure you don t interfere with ongoing repair work we do not want Parliament to be used as an excuse This is a dam that we put in place no more than two years ago and we know the rainfall patterns How can we say that we never foresaw such a situation can we remedy it he said He also urged the Minister to address the mismatch between consumable capacity installed capacity and generation capacity We are cheated as a country and especially when it comes to paying adjustable energy costs that exceed hundreds of billions each financial year Because why do you sign an agreement start paying and do not intend to evacuate that power That is poor planning he said
‘Corruption and collusion caused the closure of the Isimba plant’

1 Lawmakers have said that corruption and collusion are to blame for the closure of the Isimba hydroelectric plant.

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2 Members of Parliament responded to the statement by the Minister for Energy and Mining Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa on the emergency closure of the plant.

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3 The 183-megawatt Isimba hydroelectric power station in Kayunga district was closed on Monday, August 8, 2022.

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4 Nankabirwa told MPs that the plant was flooded due to maintenance work.

5 “One of the generating units was out of use to allow the contractor to perform routine maintenance.

6 At the time of the incident, scheduled work included the installation and testing of contractor-supplied equipment for safe access to the power plant,” Nankabirwa said.

7 She said that while the Uganda Electricity Generation Company (UEGCL) operations and maintenance team was trying to create a safe working environment within the power plant work area, a malfunction occurred that caused water to flow into the power plant.

8 “Consequently, the dam’s safety procedures were automatically activated to ensure the safety of personnel, the protection of equipment and production, and the prevention of potential dam failures.

9 Investigations are underway to establish the cause of this incident,” Nankabirwa said.

10 She assured MPs that appropriate steps are being taken to restore power production within three weeks.

11 “In these three weeks, we have decided to use the manual mode; The plant has two systems, automated and manual.

12 Within three weeks we will start generation but not at full capacity, full capacity will start in six weeks,” she said.

13 The Minister also clarified that the country’s installed power generation capacity is 1,378.1 megawatts, indicating excess generation relative to the country’s maximum system demand of 900 megawatts, including 50 megawatts of power export to Kenya.

14 “It is important to note that without major system failures, such as the loss of a major generating facility, as we have experienced with the Isimba hydropower station, Uganda’s current total generating capacity is sufficient to meet our electricity demand.

15 current,” he said.

16 Nankabirwa added that power from some of the plants is not fully evacuated due to a lack of transmission and distribution infrastructure.

17 The Southern Bugabula County MP, Hon. However, Maurice Kibalya asked the Minister to be very interested in the real cause of the complete closure, saying that it was intentional.

18 “The issue that happened was not the flood; the problem was technical and chances are they are intentional.

19 Take interest in the cost of the thermals after the closure of Isimba, you’ll see.

20 Some of these things are not by accident or mistake,” Kibalya said.

21 Hon. Abigaba Cuthbert (NRM, Kibale County) said that by generating more than the country consumes, the country is spending a lot of money and yet it cannot be consumed.

22 “In engineering studies it means that our engineers are not doing a good job for us, so there is a problem.

23 That is why I want to side with my brother Hon. Kibalya that they are in some kind of sabotage or possibly the ministry has run out of competent engineers to manage the system,” he said.

24 The Kigorobya County Deputy, H.E. David Karubanga said that the minister stopped short of disclosing the real cause of the total closure.

25 “When there is a flood, it is a failure in the power supply and the irrigation pumps or leaks that exceed the drainage system.

26 I also join other colleagues who want to say that the construction of electric dams has been a big problem,” he said.

27 Hon. Agnes Atim Apea (NRM, Amolatar District) said the closure shows inefficiency and poor planning of electricity generation.

28 “If you know the electricity generation capacity and one plant goes out, I don’t see how it affects the whole system.

29 Every year we appropriate more than 100 billion Shs for energy, how do you start generating what you know you can’t evacuate?

30 Either it is collusion or corruption,” she said.

31 The deputy of the county of Aringa Sur, Hon. Yorke Alioni Odria questioned why the country is generating excess power and yet some parts of the country like West Nile have a shortage of power supply.

32 “The minister should be clear about this.

33 She needs to tell Parliament the way forward; we are not going to get loans and the money is not used.

34 The country is losing.

35 No kidding, this country is sinking because people are not sincere,” she said.

36 Hon. Lillian Aber (NRM, Kitgum District) also asked the minister to pay close attention to contractors, saying most of them do not deliver.

37 “The minister must take a great interest and ensure that contracts are awarded to people who comply.

38 We have had the issue of installing the transformer and it has taken four years.

39 The providers let us down in terms of quality,” she said.

40 Deputy of the Kimaanya-Kabonera Division, Hon. Abed Bwanaki called for a thorough investigation of the energy sector.

41 “81 percent of Ugandans are not connected to the electricity grid, but energy is the engine of the economy, but people cannot access energy,” he said.

42 Vice President Thomas Tayebwa referred the matter to the Natural Resources Committee and gave a three-week deadline for the report.

43 “Make sure you don’t interfere with ongoing repair work; we do not want Parliament to be used as an excuse.

44 This is a dam that we put in place no more than two years ago and we know the rainfall patterns.

45 How can we say that we never foresaw such a situation, can we remedy it?” he said.

46 He also urged the Minister to address the mismatch between consumable capacity, installed capacity and generation capacity.

47 “We are cheated as a country and especially when it comes to paying adjustable energy costs that exceed hundreds of billions each financial year.

48 Because why do you sign an agreement, start paying and do not intend to evacuate that power.

49 That is poor planning,” he said.

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