Fault at Main Power Plants cause Uganda to Endure Three hours of ‘Blackout’

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The generators at Uganda’s main power plants Kiira and Nalubaale hydro power failed, plunging the country into darkness for three hours, electricity distributor Umeme ltd told the media in Kampala.

Umeme’s media manager Stephen Ilungole attributed the failure to a technical glitch.

Since the power generation plants are linked to the transmission and the distribution lines, the failure at the Kiira and Nalubaale plants was ‘transmitted’ to main Bujagali hydropower plant.

Bujagali power plant’s general manager John Berry said they had to “shut down” their plant.

He referred the Daily Monitor to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) for details.

“I wouldn’t be able to answer that. What happened [last night]was external to Bujagali,” Mr Berry told the Monitor.

UETCL’s acting chief executive officer William Kiryahika, an engineer, said they are trying to establish the real cause of the blackout.

He added that what happened on the fateful night rarely happens.
“It is a cascade of events that ultimately lead to system collapse. We are going to investigate to establish the cause of the blackout,” Kiryahika said.

In December 2014, the Electricity Regulatory Authority’s director technical regulation Ziria Tibalwa Waako said through an in-house newsletter that blackouts could be attributed to old equipment.

“Old equipment may fail to operate thereby leading to power outage,” Tibalwa wrote then.

She also attributed blackouts to the lighting damaging electrical substations, power line conductors and power supply equipment.

In November 2013, residents of Kampala went without power for hours after fire licked up the Kampala North UETCL/Umeme substation.

Source: Daily Monitor