The Pole Plant is one of the assets vested under Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL) following the disbanding of the former Uganda Electricity Board (UEB). In May 2004, UEDCL signed a twenty-year concession agreement with UMEME Limited. The agreement took effect on March 1, 2005. In the above agreement, UEDCL leased all its assets to UMEME to manage and maintain the distribution network with an aim to invest in the power distribution network to improve on the quality of supply through rehabilitation, upgrading, and expansion of the distribution network.
The Pole Plant, previously operating as a support section to UEDCL operations, was not part of the assets concessioned to UMEME, but was retained to be maintained and managed under the new mandate of UEDCL.
The Plant has, since then, operated as a self-sustaining business unit that purchases seasoned poles, treats them using creosote oil chemical. The treated poles are used in the areas where UEDCL distributes power, also sells them to UMEME, REA, plus exporting the same to Southern Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania and to any other interested buyers in the region.
To create a market difference after the emergency of a myriad of competitors in the business, UEDCL launched the first-ever electronic pole tracking management system in the region. This involves labelling all our products with a Radio Frequency Identification tag (RFID) scientifically inserted in each pole product. It was launched as a pilot for a project and the analysis of the system performance was on-going by the end of the financial year 2018. This continues to boost the customer confidence and, is expected to increase our market sharein the coming years.
Our poles are pressure treated with Creosote to meet the following standards;
- US EAS 322:2002 (Uganda Standards Certification Mark for its Wood Poles for power and telecommunication Lines – Creosote treated wood poles)
- EAS 323:2002 (East African Standards Specification for wood preservation by means of pressure creosoting)
- SANS 754:2010 (South African National Standards Eucalyptus poles, cross-arms and spacers for power distribution and communications Systems)