Africa bank reaffirms US$110 million for 250-MW Bujagali

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has issued a statement reaffirming the approval of its board of directors for US$110 million in financing for the 250-MW Bujagali hydroelectric project on Uganda’s Victoria Nile River.

The AfDB board first announced approval May 2 of its share of funding for the hydroelectric project and an associated 100-kilometer transmission interconnection project. (HNN 5/4/07) The bank gave no explanation for the latest, identical, announcement issued June 29.

The African bank joins the European Investment Bank, which provided 100 million euros (US$135.4 million) in May, and the World Bank, which approved US$360 million in loans and guarantees for the project in April. (HNN 5/14/07)

The 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.

Uganda’s New Vision reported June 4 that Italian contractor Salini Costruttori SpA was mobilizing crews to begin construction. (HNN 6/6/07) It said the Salini Bujagali Team, main contractor for the US$499 million project, already had assembled heavy equipment including drilling machines, bulldozers, wheel-loaders, excavators, and dump trucks in anticipation of groundbreaking.

Site engineer Amedeo Oprandi said Salini subcontracted Alstom of France and Fichtner of Germany to design and execute project works.

Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (UETCL) seeks bids in August for construction of transmission lines and substations to link Bujagali to Uganda’s national grid. (HNN 6/4/07) Government-owned UETCL has signed a long-term agreement to buy electricity from Bujagali.

The run-of-the-river project is to be built downstream from two existing hydro projects, 180-MW Nalubaale and 200-MW Kiira, at Jinja on Lake Victoria’s outlet. Officials said the new dam would not affect lake levels, as alleged by opponents, because it would simply reuse water released by Nalubaale and Kiira. (HNN 6/28/07)

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