Europe bank completes loan for Uganda’s 250-MW Bujagali

The European Investment Bank (EIB) said January 7 it signed documentation to lend 92 million euros (US$135.4 million) to help finance the 250-MW Bujagali hydroelectric project on Uganda’s Victoria Nile River.

The EIB Board announced approval of the funding in May 2007, joining the African Development Bank (AfDB), which approved US$110 million May 2, and the World Bank, which approved US$360 million in loans and guarantees for the project. (HNN 5/14/07)

Development partners Sithe Global Power LLC and Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya) Ltd. (IPS) announced financial closing December 21 of a US$682 million construction debt facility for Bujagali. (HNN 12/21/07)

Sithe Global of the United States and IPS, an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for African Development (AKFED), are owners of Bujagali Energy Ltd. (BEL), the hydro project’s development consortium. BEL formally marked the beginning of Bujagali’s construction in ceremonies August 21 at Jinja, Uganda.

�This public private partnership combines the strengths of the private sector in financing, building, and operating an asset of this nature and size, with the government’s commitment to address certain adverse factors such as variations in demand or water available for production,� EIB said. �The involvement of renowned investors is a sign of confidence in Uganda’s economy.�

Others participating in financing include European financial institutions Proparco, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelinsslanden N.V., Societe de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique/Agence Francaise de Developpement, DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH, Kreditanstalt fur Wiederaufbau, Absa Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank. EIB said its loan is for up to 20 years, reflecting the project’s cash flow requirements.

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