Uganda’s biggest locally made transformer will reduce electricity tariffs

Uganda has been known to have high electricity tariff rates, partly informed by its low electrification rates. But that is expected to change as President Yoweri Museveni is set to commission the biggest transformer manufactured in the country.

The 2500kVa/33kv capacity transformer made by Orion Transformers and Electrics (OTE) based in Namanve Industrial Park is expected to revolutionise the energy sector’s terrain.

Hanlin Liu, the general manager of OTE, said the transformer was made using some locally sourced materials such as copper while some components were imported from Asia and Europe.

“It is cheaper to manufacture the transformer here than to import one,” he said.

Sector players anticipate that having such a large-capacity transformer made within the country will have a two-fold impact: knocking down electricity tariffs while increasing electrification rates in the country.

Speaking ahead of the event, Julius Wandera, the public relations officer of Electricity Regulatory Authority, said the capacity by Uganda to manufacture its own transformers significantly reduces the foreign exchange exposure.

“Exchange rate is one of the exogenous factors affecting the power tariff rates, so having such equipment predominantly manufactured within the country will have a knockdown effect on the end user tariff,” he said.

Wandera further noted that with such big capacity, more people will be reached, thus increasing the electrification rates in the country.

Currently, Uganda’s electrification rate stands at a paltry 22%, making it one of the lowest in the region. However, there are deliberate efforts to push it to 80% by the year 2040.

Hadija Sebugenyi Nagayi, the operations manager at OTE, said that with such home-grown interventions, the electrification rate is bound to grow while the tariff takes a downward trend.

“With cheaper and bigger capacity transformers, more people will be able to access power at a cheaper price,” Nagayi said.

SOURCE: New Vision

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