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MPs Probe Companies Contracted for UGX 784B Electricity Project

TBEA Co, a Chinese Power company signed a contract with the Electricity Regulation Authority (REA) for the implementation of the project that is to connect power across approximately 3,800 km of medium voltage and 5,900 km of low voltage networks with transformers and consumer connections.
High voltage electricity Pylons in Mutukula.The governemnts according to the report will need billions of dollars to put us such strucures to entend power.

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The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources is investigating circumstances under which companies with no experience in the power sector were subcontracted to work on the 784 billion shillings Electricity project.

TBEA Co, a Chinese Power company signed a contract with the Electricity Regulation Authority (REA) for the implementation of the project that is to connect power across approximately 3,800 km of medium voltage and 5,900 km of low voltage networks with transformers and consumer connections.      

However some of the subcontractors of the 32 picked to work on the project were established in 2019. They include; Multiprom Power Eng-Smg Ltd and Voltad Engineering Co Ltd registered in January and March 2019 respectively for a project which was to start in August this year.  

 Others are Grid Engineering U Ltd, Microna Holdings, and Rosko General Investment with no experience at all in the power line business.   

 

The project is aimed at extending electricity to 287 Sub-Counties across the country and the connection of over 170,000 customers directly onto the national grid.   The project is the first phase of part of the 2.8 trillion shillings loan from Exim bank signed in 2017 and expected to benefit 500 sub-counties.     

The committee was on Wednesday evening meeting officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral development led by Minister Simon D’Ujanga and officials from the Rural Electrification Agency (ERA) EDGodfrey R Turyahikayo to answer delays in the project.

Appearing before the committee, Energy Minister Simon D’Ujanga said that many of the 32 companies subcontracted by TBEA to work on the power lines are new and inexperienced companies, many of which have never worked on projects.   He says so far 42 million dollars has been given to the contractor. 

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Turyahikayo says that the contractor wanted his own group of subcontractors and rejected several others. He says the main problem will come on standards of the work that will be done, and also the fact that the project could face several delays. 

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Others contractors with some experience are;  Nile Electric Co Limited, Kase Engineering ltd, Enel Power service limited, Butswa Electric and Automation contractors. Companies with very little experience are; Sales and Engineering Co Ltd, Arison technologies, Cablesult Civil and Electrical engineering co limited. 

Those that have done some subcontracting are  Electine technologies, Ranco Engineering N.S technical contractors,  Delta Power Networks among others. 

 Although TBEA had pre-qualified some 59 subcontractors to work on the project, many of them opted out due to the pay and the scope of the project. 

14 of the companies petitioned Parliament saying they were sidelined because they presented credible costs compared to the inexperienced contractors that have been hired.  

According to committee chairperson Kiwanuka Keefa, the contractors who were dropped are demanding at least 17 million shillings per kilometre for medium voltage and low voltage among other works, contrary to TBEA’s 9 million shillings per kilometre for the same.   

He says they have scheduled to meet both TBEA and the sub-contractors.