The commissioning of the submarine power cable connecting Kalangala Island to the mainland via Bukakata in Masaka District has faced delays as the government is yet to determine the power tariffs, revealed Kalangala Infrastructure Services (KIS), the power supplier overseeing the project. The submarine power cable, laid at the bottom of Lake Victoria, is awaiting the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) to finalize tariff determinations.
Mr. Joseph Mulindwa, the KIS spokesperson, explained that while the laying of the submarine power cable is complete, the ERA is still in the process of setting new tariffs. The commissioning of the project awaits the Energy minister’s approval once the tariffs are established. The 7km submarine power cable is designed to supply 33 kilovolts of power to the sub-counties of Buggala and Bugoma, benefiting over 33,000 households and industries.
KIS is optimistic about the potential impact of the flat tariff structure, where both domestic and commercial customers are charged a fixed price per kilowatt consumed. The hope is that if the tariffs are set at a reasonable level, it could lead to a shift in power usage. Mr. Mulindwa mentioned that joining the mainland power grid under the flat tariff structure might prompt the restructuring of power tariffs to include off-peak rates favorable to heavy commercial customers.
Currently, in Kalangala, electricity consumers face a five-hour load shedding between 12 am and 5 am daily. The completion and commissioning of the submarine power cable are expected to enhance the reliability and stability of power supply in the region. Mr. Rajab Ssemakula, the Kalangala LC5 chairperson, emphasized the importance of business and home user-friendly tariffs for residents and investors, hoping that the submarine power cable will attract potential investments with favorable power tariffs.