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)