First Solar Power station in Sub Sahara Africa starts in Kalangala

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  • 1.6MW hybrid solar and diesel power plant
  • Transmission and distribution grid serving all principal settlements on the Island
  • Power project to be commissioned by June 2014.

Kalangala Infrastructure Services Ltd (KIS) the company contracted to develop infrastructure in Kalangala has laid the foundation for the first solar power plant in Sub Sahara Africa at Bukuzindu, Mugoye sub-county, Kalangala district. The 1.6MW power plant will use solar thermal hybrid system to generate power which will be transmitted and distributed throughout Bugala Island. The project will cost USD 17 million.

Speaking at the ceremony, John Opiro the Managing Director KIS elaborated on the power project, “This is yet another milestone KIS has shown progress in steps towards developing the social economic aspects of the Island. We started the placement of electric poles in late July and works are still ongoing. To date, the contractor has supplied more than 500 creosote treated electricity poles which have been distributed in Bugoma, Luuku, Mutambala, Kasekulo, Mulore, Buswa, to mention but a few locations.  The installation process is free of charge which makes it easier for people to access and bring power nearer to their homes and businesses. Electric poles have been distributed to settlement areas where low voltage construction commenced, and along the main island roads where high voltage transmission lines are to be constructed. After living without power for so long, this is a dream come true for the people of Bugala Island. We believe that with accessibility to power, the community will develop faster and will create an opportunity to attract investors.” he said.     

The Minister of Works & Transport who was representing the Vice President and Guest of Honourable Edward Ssekandi said, “the Partnership that the Government of Uganda and KIS is engaged in is a speedy, efficient and cost effective delivery of projects. It ensures value for money for the tax payer through optimal risk transfer and risk management. KIS has made great progress on Bugala Island ever since implementation started and we are confident that the four projects embarked on will be successful and impact positively on the economic growth and wellbeing of the people of Kalangala. With this project we anticipate a clean water system, electricity and an efficient transport system”.

Construction of a hybrid power plant is among the four components KIS is undertaking on Bugala Island under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government of Uganda.  Four months ago KIS commissioned works on the expansion and upgrade of the main Island road on Bugala Island which is ongoing. KIS is also engaged in providing a safe and clean water for which a successful water supply model was launched in Kasekulo Township where it running as a pilot project. Currently the second modern ferry of two is under construction in Mwanza Tanzania, the first one; the MV Pearl was commissioned in August 2012 and has been running efficiently.

Construction of power supply is by Ferdsult Engineering Services Ltd (FESL) and Premier Solar (pty) Ltd a leading solar firm in the world. The project is expected to be ready in June 2014.     

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