- A joint team of Uganda and Kenya technocrats undertook a study to China and India on this matter and these are the key highlights:
a) Energy consumption during operations is about 8.82Kwh per 1000 Gross ton Kilometer (GTKM) and 2.5L per 1000 GTKM for electric and diesel traction respectively. Based on the current cost of diesel and electricity in Uganda, it is cheaper to operate an electric locomotive.
b) Currently, China manufactures 6,000KW, and 7,200KW electric locomotives on 25 tonne axle load. A single electric locomotive will haul 4,000 tonnes compared to two diesel locomotives rated at 3,750KW required for the same load.
c) The cost of maintenance of diesel locomotive is 30-40% higher than the cost of maintenance of electric locomotives.
d) The electric traction system is eco-friendly in terms of carbon emissions, noise pollution, suitable as mitigation measures for climate change
e) Importantly, China and India, with about 75% of the global railway network are systematically upgrading from diesel traction to electric traction. In order to access affordable spare parts, technology and skills, it is important to follow the global trends.
f) Kenya’s construction is reserved for upgrading to electric traction which means that in future they will operate electric traction system.
g) Electrification has higher investment costs (approx. USD0.55m/route-km) but lower operation and maintenance costs.