Jan 2013 - Eskom Uganda Ltd first to receive ISO Certification

Thursday, 31st January 2013, Kampala Uganda - Today Eskom Uganda (EUL), the leading electricity generation company responsible for operating the two government dams in Jinja, is celebrating ISO certification in three standards; ISO 9001:2004 in quality, ISO 14001:2008 in environment, and OHSAS 14001:2008 in safety and health.

Eskom Uganda was certified by Bureau Veritas, a UK standards certification company, in November 2012, and became the first electricity generation company in Uganda to receive ISO certification.

ISO is short for International Organization for Standardization which is an internationally recognized organization with membership from most world countries that develops standards for products and services. In the area of occupational health and safety, EUL used British Standards Institution’s OHSAS 18001:2008 because it is the globally recognized standard. 

Having ISO certified management systems ensures that the services offered are safe, reliable and sustainable, of good quality and environmentally friendly. It is also a tool used to reduce costs by minimizing waste and errors and increasing productivity.

When EUL came to Uganda in 2003 it introduced NOSA, a South African system with 74 safety elements and by 2010 had received a 4 star out of 5 star rating in safety, health, environment and quality.

“We achieved our 4 star rating on NOSA through hard work as a team coupled with internal audits and external audits to prove worthiness, not forgetting management commitment. From what we have achieved so far management opted to go global by seeking ISO certification the project which saw us where we are now.” Says Andrew Lumbuye, Eskom HR Manager.

“ISO’s model of Plan, Do, Check and Act encourages us to assess all our activities periodically to ensure that we are meeting business objectives. It also helps us not only to focus on the bottom-line but also the conserve the environment and preserve life. This is manifested through setting of clear policies and procedures to guide the execution of work on a daily basis. We also assess our performance more frequently through all round system audits and management reviews.” He adds

Eskom Uganda took over the operation and maintenance of Nalubaale & Kiira Power Stations in 2003. Nalubaale PS formerly Owen Falls Dam had been in existence since 1954 while Kiira had been opened in 1998. During that period there was a Factories Act that guided how to handle issues of workers safety. Besides the fact that the law was deficient in many aspects, not much was being done to adhere to as evidenced by poor housekeeping practices and lack of appropriate systems to ensure that work was done safely.

“When Eskom took over, there was evaluation of safety systems and we brought good practices borrowed from our parent company. One of them was the cardinal rule principle, plant safety regulations. As such we decided to implement a South African model for safety called NOSA which is limited to only safety and environment. We needed to broaden our scope to cover quality. NOSA does not have a global appeal as ISO. ISO was deemed a perfect fit.” Says Nokwanda Mngeni, Eskom Managing Director

Eskom believes that no operating condition or urgency of work can warrant endangering the life of any worker. This is evidenced by the safety statistics which have been falling from a high of 0.95 to 0 as of today.

The certification extends not only to safety but also to quality of electricity supply mainly in regards to reliability. Eskom’s contract with UETCL stipulates that they should declare their capacity prior to supply and must supply what is declared on the customer’s demand. EUL Is  supposed to ensure availability of 95% which means that break downs have to be limited, maintenance has to be carried out in the right time and cost.

EUL pledges to implement ISO 9001:2008’s PDCA cycle model to ensure that all these activities are carried out to maintain our contractual obligations.

“We shall maintain certification in the three standards meaning we shall maintain the highest standards of quality, safety and the environment, we shall ensure that our safety record that currently stands at zero injuries for over 680 days is maintained. We shall continue embedding the risk management culture and aim for certification in more international standards such as ISO 31001 for risk management and ISO 21001 for Information Security.” Adds Nokwanda

The Eskom group is on a blue flag program, which is the next accolade after ISO certification.

“We shall be getting support in implementing this program, which automatically ensures that we do not regress but forever move forward. Our biggest aim is zero harm, to staff, to the equipment and the environment. That means reliable supply to our customers.” Said Nokwanda Mngeni, EUL MD.

Ends…./

ABOUT ESKOM UGANDA:

Eskom Uganda Ltd (EUL) was incorporated on 22nd November 2002, and was awarded a concession to operate and maintain Nalubaale and Kiira Hydro Power stations in Jinja for 20 years. EUL took over operations and maintenance of the complex from Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) on 1st April 2003.

Eskom Uganda Limited (EUL) is a subsidiary company of Eskom Enterprises (Proprietary) Limited, South Africa, the investment arm of Eskom Holdings Ltd.  Eskom is the leading electricity generation company in Africa and is headquartered Johannesburg, South Africa and has presence in Uganda, Mali and Mozambique.

Eskom Uganda Ltd (EUL) is the main hydropower electricity generating company in Uganda and the current average production is 138MW per day. All the electricity generated is sold to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) the authorized single buyer, who sells it to the sole distributor UMEME who in turn distributes it to the local consumers throughout the country.