CWEC, Uganda break ground on 188-MW Isimba Falls hydroelectric plant

The China International Water & Electric Corporation broke ground on Uganda’s 188-MW Isimba Falls hydropower plant earlier this week.

The project is being constructed along the White Nile River and is expected to increase the country’s total installed capacity by about 25%. Construction is expected to take about 34 months.

“The electricity shortage has always been a bottleneck for the development of Uganda,” Chinese ambassador H.E. Zhao Yali said during a groundbreaking ceremony. “The enhancement in the electricity sector is like the engine on a jet plane. It will boost the development of the Ugandan economy.”

HydroWorld.com reported in July that the governments of Uganda and China had signed a memorandum of understanding for the project’s financing, with US$500 million being provided by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The Chinese government has also invested in Uganda’s 600-MW Karuma hydropower plant.

The Isimba Falls plant will be Uganda’s fourth largest, following the Karuma, 250-MW Bujagali, and 600-MW Ayago.

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