Construction of the 250MW Bujagali hydro project on the White Nile river in Uganda has been officially launched.
The plant has been planned for years and finally its construction should be completed in 44 months at an estimated cost of US$772M. Turnkey contractor on the project, Italian firm Salini, is to have the plant commissioned in 2011.
President Yoweri Museveni launched the start of the construction phase at a ceremony where he laid the foundation stone. The scheme is being developed by Bujagali Energy, which comprises: Industrial Promotion Services (Kenya), the industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development; and, Sithe Global Power LLC. The official ceremony was also attended by the Aga Khan
Funding for the run-of river project has been committed by the International Finance Corp, the World Bank via the International Development Association, the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank and also the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency to shareholder Sithe Global Power.
World Bank approval of the project earlier this year initiated a wave of financial backing and paved the way for the project, conceived and in early development in the early 1990s, to finally get started.
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