Jyly 5, 2011
Uganda’s Power Utility Shuts Generator Due to Fuel Shortage
(Bloomberg) — The state-owned Uganda Electricity Generation Co. shut down one of its thermal generators because of a fuel shortage, Managing Director Eriasi Kiyimba said, deepening the country’s energy shortage.
“We have run out of fuel because we are indebted to suppliers,” Kiyimba said by phone today from the capital, Kampala. “One thermal generator of 50 megawatts was shut down yesterday.”
The East African nation, which is reliant on thermal generators for about 47 percent of its electricity, now has an energy shortfall of as much as 120 megawatts during periods of peak demand, he said. The government is working to pay subsidies to the company so that it can pay its suppliers, Kiyimba said.
Uganda is set to boost its power output when the 250- megawatt Bujagali hydropower plant starts supplying 50 megawatts to the national grid in October, with full capacity expected in April 2012, President Yoweri Museveni said on June 7.
Since Wednesday, motorists in different parts of the country have been queuing for fuel at service stations. Yesterday some were seen strolling from one station to another before parking their cars at roadsides in Kampala.
In Gulu, passengers were reported to be opting to walk instead of boarding taxis as transport fares doubled whereas those in Hoima were stocking up more fuel than they needed in anticipation for worse days.
In an interview on Thursday, Mr Ivan Kyayonka, the Country Manager Shell Uganda, attributed the shortage to supply problems experienced by the central procurement system operated by the Kenyan government.
“There has been a disruption in the system,” he said adding that one of the companies contracted to supply fuel to Kenya and indirectly to Uganda, had not delivered supplies in time leading to the crisis.
Last week, the Business Daily in Kenya reported that the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) had not delivered a consignment of 56,500 metric tonnes of fuel scheduled to be delivered to Mombasa hence the shortage in diesel supplies.