A popular trend for electric poles in East Africa : Concrete Poles To Replace Wooden Electric Poles
Joseph Katera, the Managing Director Uganda Electricity Distribution Company says that it is becoming costly to sustain the use of wooden poles.
Uganda Electricity Distribution Company is considering using concrete to replace the wooden electricity poles, Uganda Radio Network has learnt. For several years now, wooden poles have been a common feature of the electricity power distribution network that connects nearly every region of the country. But this is bound to change, once Uganda Electricity Distribution Company implements a decision to use concrete poles. Joseph Katera, the Managing Director Uganda Electricity Distribution Company says that it is becoming costly to sustain the use of wooden poles.
He says that the company incurs huge expenses in procuring Creosote, the chemical used in treating the wooden poles. He explains that they buy the chemicals at a cost of 398 dollars for every drum of 210 liters adding that scarcity of the chemical has forced them to source the chemical from as far as China, India and South Africa. Katera says that there is also a fear that continued use of wood poles would greatly contribute to deforestation. He explains that the company has been supporting tree planning with the hope of sustaining the use of wooden poles in vain.
With increased competition for the poles, the prices have shot up. He says that currently a wooden pole cost between 150,000 shillings and 180,000 depending on its height. A pole measuring 10 metres high costs 150,000 while an 11 metres costs 170,000 and 12 metres fetches 180,000 shillings. Katera says that the delay to shift to the use of concrete poles has been due to the fear that it could be more expensive than tha wooden poles. He however says that they have realized that concrete poles are ideal in the long run because they last longer and do not deplete forests.
Charles Chapman, the Managing Director Umeme, the energy network distribution company says they are ready to invest in concrete poles to can down on the costs incurred on wooden poles. Chapman says that they currently buy at least 24,000 poles every year.
The shift from wooden to concrete poles would certainly provide a relief to environmentalists and hopefully guarantee safety of electricity installations.