Uganda courts bidders for 250-MW Karuma

The government of Uganda announced it plans to seek bids for planning and construction of the 250-MW Karuma hydroelectric project on the Nile River.

Although Norpak Power Ltd. of Norway held a permit to develop the site, Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said the government now intends to develop the project as a public-private partnership.

The ministry noted an Energy Fund has been established for the purpose of developing power infrastructure projects such as Karuma. In June, Uganda’s Finance minister said the government would use 99 billion shillings (US$53.3 million) to launch an energy fund tasked with building both Karuma and the 250-MW Bujagali Falls project farther upstream on the Nile. (HNN 11/20/06)

The ministry said Karuma would be built as a run-of-river project, with no regulation of river flow. The project is to include a new substation at Olwinyo and transmission lines linking the hydro plant to the Kawanda substation near Kampala and the 132-kilovolt grid system at Lira substation.

In the late 1990s, Norpak carried out feasibility studies, an environmental impact assessment (EIA), and a resettlement action plan (RAP) for the project.

The government said the following consultancy services would be required:
o Due diligence on work already done by Norpak, as well as overseeing design of the power plant, preparation of tender documents for civil and electro-mechanical works, and selection of contractors;
o Reviewing and updating the EIA and RAP;
o Conducting an EIA and RAP for the transmission lines;
o Design of transmission lines, preparation of transmission line tender documents, and selection of those contractors;
o Supervision of construction of the power plant and transmission lines; and
o Legal services for structuring the public-private partnership and power purchase agreement and for contract negotiations.

Additionally, the government said it would require contractor services for power plant and transmission line construction.

Procurement notices are to be announced as they become available and are to be posted on the ministry’s Internet site,, and the Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. Internet site,

Firms that want to be included on a mailing list for invitations to pre-qualify or bid are invited to contact the addresses below.

For information, contact:
o Permanent Secretary F.A. Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Attn: Senior Procurement Officer/Head Procurement and Disposal Unit, Plot 29/33 Kampala Road, Amber House, Room B102, P.O. Box 7270, Kampala, Uganda; (256) 41-234733; Fax: (256) 41-234732; E-mail:; Internet:; or
o Managing Director, Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd., Plot 29/33 Kampala Road, Amber House, P.O. Box 7625, Kampala, Uganda; (256) 41-233433; Fax: (256) 41-341789; E-mail:; Internet:

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