Uganda,Tanzania mulls electric railway line

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Uganda,Tanzania mulls electric railway line

In summary


  • Uganda and Tanzania will largely bank on mega energy projects to realize electric railway line
  • Energy issues appear to have hampered Kenya’s plan to construct an electric railway line
  • Uganda’s current peak power system demand stands at 500MW against an installed generation capacity of 851.5MW, and total power generation stands at 535MW
  • Tanzania’s power generation capacity currently stands at about 1,500 MW, against a demand of 1,352 MW

 

Uganda and Tanzania have announced that they will  have an electric element incorporated in their railway project with plans to upgrade to electric trains when energy supply eventually allow essentially making the project an electric railway line.

Uganda’s SGR project co-ordinator Kasingye Kyamugamba has been quoted as saying that they have been assured of adequate power from the ongoing energy projects at Karuma and Isimba. This decision was also based on the costing factor, given that after completion, the long term costs of operation and maintenance will be cheaper than diesel.”

Energy issues appear to have hampered Kenya’s plan to construct an electric railway line.

“We didn’t want to construct an electric line since we don’t have a dependable source of electricity. So we had to construct a diesel locomotive line but with a capability of upgrading it,” said Mr James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary Transport.

Macharia says that Kenya will upgrade its new SGR line to electric in four year’s time as the design allows for the addition of a single electric line at a cost of $480 million, once the power supply becomes dependable, according to Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.

The electric component will cost 15 per cent of the money already spent on the construction of the 472km Mombasa-Nairobi line.

But to counter the energy deficit, Uganda and Tanzania are banking on several energy projects to meet demand.

Uganda is expecting its power generation to reach 1,500MW in 2019, after the two dams inject an additional 783MW — Karuma at 600MW and Isimba Hydropower at 183MW) into the national grid.

The country’s current peak power system demand stands at 500MW against an installed generation capacity of 851.5MW, and total power generation stands at 535MW.

Tanzania’s power generation capacity currently stands at about 1,500 MW, against a demand of 1,352 MW. But it is banking on the development of its vast gas finds into electricity to increase its capacity and also provide a dedicated electric line for the SGR network, once completed.