Minister: Uganda to begin building 250-MW Bujagali

Uganda Energy Minister Daudi Migereko says construction will begin in February on the 250-MW Bujagali Falls hydroelectric project on the Victoria Nile River.

In an August 1 press briefing reported by Uganda media, Migereko said the controversial project will be carried out concurrently with the 200-MW Karuma project downstream.

�The contracts for construction of Bujagali will be awarded in September and negotiations for funding will reach close somewhere in February next year and construction will start,� Migereko was quoted by Uganda’s New Vision.

In June, Finance Minister Ezra Suruma said the government would use 99 billion shillings (US$53.3 million) to launch an energy fund to build the hydropower projects. In April, the World Bank advised Uganda to build Bujagali Falls, the cheapest of the two plants, first, instead of trying to build Karuma simultaneously.

Government-owned Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. signed a long-term agreement in December to buy electricity from Bujagali. The US$400 million project is being developed by Bujagali Energy Ltd., a consortium led by Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) Ltd., a member of the Aga Khan Development network, and Sithe Global of the United States.

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