Uganda foresees construction start on 250-MW Karuma

Uganda’s energy minister said he expects construction to begin in September on the 250-MW Karuma hydroelectric project on the Nile River.

�Construction could not start immediately as we had anticipated,� Minister Daudi Migereko told state-run New Vision. �We have hired consultants to study the progress of Norpak and are studying how we can increase the earlier planned production capacity.�

The government said it is working with Norpak Power Ltd. of Norway, a strategic investor. Construction is planned to last three years. Because its design is simpler than the 255-MW Bujagali hydro project, currently under construction, officials have said the US$450 million Karuma is to be built in only three years, going on line in 2011-2012. (HNN 4/14/08)

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni previously directed the ministries of Energy and Finance to commence fast-track development of Karuma in 2008. (HNN 1/15/08) He said completion of Karuma and Bujagali is a key objective for industrialization and transformation of the Uganda economy.

Museveni said in February he received a pledge from World Bank President Robert Zoellick to help Uganda build more hydroelectric projects to overcome electricity shortage. (HNN 2/6/08)

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