Eskom Uganda has today commissioned three generator transformers for units 3,5 and 6. The project involved the replacement of transformers that were past their service life expectancy at a cost of UGX 6.84 billion.
Speaking at the project commissioning, Ms. Thozama Gangi, the Managing Director of Eskom Uganda, said, “Generator transformers form a critical link between the power station and the transmission system. They step up the generator voltage to a higher voltage that permits power transmission over longer distances with reduced power losses. The replaced transformers had reached the end of their useful life and could not be effectively serviced due to the unavailability of spares on the market. The new generator transformers will ensure that power generated at Nalubaale Power Station can effectively and reliably be evacuated to the grid. I would like to thank the project team for the conclusion of this project. Well, done! “
Nalubaale Power Station has 10 generation units, each linked to a transformer. Four of these i.e., 1-4 step-up power from 11kV to 33kV, while the remainder,5-10 step-up generated power from 11kV to 132kV for transmission to the grid. The expected performance life of a transformer is 35 years but can be extended to 50 years with good maintenance and acceptable loading. However, as a transformer ages, its insulation weakens and would require replacement to withstand system faults.
Eskom Uganda is operating Nalubaale and Kiira power stations under a 20-year concession and has carried out the generator replacement under its prudent maintenance practices. The transformer replacement project for Units 3 and 5 has been managed by Eskom employees in partnership with SGB Smitt, while for Unit 6 ABB Uganda has been engaged.
Eskom has so far invested UGX 179 billion (USD 47.8 million) in both the Nalubaale and Kiira power stations, with an additional UGX 25.5 billion (USD 6.8 million) planned by March 2023 to give a total of $54.6 (UGX 205 billion).