Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station

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Bujagali Dam
Bujagali detail.jpg
River Nile, 5 km (3 mi) downstream of Bujagali Dam.
Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station is located in Uganda
Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station
Location of Bujagali Power Station
Placement on map is approximate
Location Bujagali, Uganda
Coordinates 00°29′54″N 33°08′15″E / 0.49833°N 33.13750°E / 0.49833; 33.13750Coordinates: 00°29′54″N 33°08′15″E / 0.49833°N 33.13750°E / 0.49833; 33.13750
Construction began 2007
Opening date 2012
Construction cost US$900 million
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Gravity dam
Impounds River Nile
Power station
Commission date 2012[1]
Turbines 5
Installed capacity 250 MW (340,000 hp)

Bujagali Power Station is a hydroelectric power station across the Victoria Nile that harnesses the energy of its namesake – the Bujagali Falls, in Uganda. Construction began in 2007 and concluded in 2012. It was officially inaugurated on 8 October 2012 by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and His Highness Aga Khan IV in the presence of African politicians and investors.

The capacity of the power station is 250 megawatts (340,000 hp), a relatively large amount for an area that required an alternative to expensive thermal power sources. The Bujagali Power Station thus represents the third most powerful hydroelectric energy source in Uganda, after the planned Karuma Power Station and Ayago Power Station.

The funding for the station was a source of some concern, as investors joined and departed from the project. As of July 2014, the plant is funded by the Bujagali Energy Limited, who selected Italian contractor Salini to develop the project.


The power station lies across the Victoria Nile, about 9.7 kilometres (6.0 mi) northwest of Jinja immediately north of the former location of Bujagali Falls. It lies at the border between Buikwe District to the west and Jinja District to the east. The coordinates of Bujagali Power Station are 0° 29'54.00"N, 33° 08' 15.00"E (latitude:0.498325; longitude:33.137500).[2]


As far back as 2001, the Government of Uganda started to plan the construction of a hydroelectric power plant at Bujagali Falls. The original developers included AES Energy from the United States and the Madhvani Group from Uganda. In the midst of fraud investigations,[3] the first project was abandoned in 2003 when AES Energy (the then developer) pulled out of the deal, citing a protracted process due to objections from environmentalists.[4][5]

A new consortium of Sithe Global Power LLC, from the United States and Industrial Promotion Services, a division of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), was formed to develop the project. The new developers formed a company called Bujagali Energy Limited.[6] Construction of the dam and powerhouse started in June 2007, with loans from the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank. Salini, an Italian construction company, was selected to be the lead contractor.[7] The power station began commercial operations on 1 August 2012.[5] At the peak of construction activity, the project employed over 2,500 people, including about 2,200 (88%), Ugandan nationals.[8]


Bujagali Energy Limited, the special purpose vehicle that owns and operates the power plant is owned by the following entities:[9][10]

Bujagali Energy Limited Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Industrial Promotion Services
2 SG Bujagali Holdings
3 Government of Uganda 4.63
Total 100.00

Construction costs[edit]

The estimated costs for the dam and power plant is approximately US$800 million. Another $62 million was spent on building a high voltage transmission line from Jinja to Kawanda, near Kampala, a distance of about 100 kilometres (62 mi). The consortium that constructed the power station invested approximately $190 million of their own money into the project. The rest of the funds were borrowed from the following international lenders:[11]

  1. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group
  2. The African Development Bank (AfDB)
  3. The European Investment Bank (EIB)
  4. The German Investment Corporation (DEG)
  5. The German Development Bank (KfW)
  6. PROPARCO of France
  7. The French Development Agency (AFD) and
  8. The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO)

Completion date[edit]

The project was completed in 2012, although partial power generation started in 2011.[12] As early as October 2011, The EastAfrican, a leading Kenyan weekly publication indicated that the opening of the dam would be phased, one unit at a time.[13] In February 2011, the New Vision newspaper, Uganda's leading daily publication, reported that the first 50MW would become available in October 2011 and the subsequent 50MW additional units would become available every two to three months until the final addition in April 2012.[14] In November 2011, the Daily Monitor, another Ugandan newspaper, reported that the first 50MW will be turned on in December 2011.[15] On 2 February 2012, Ugandan newspapers reported the commissioning of the first turbine of the power station.[16] In May 2012, the third 50 megawatt turbine was commissioned, bringing output to 150 megawatts.[17] On 15 June 2012, Ugandan press reports indicated that the fourth and fifth turbines had come online, bringing total output to 250 megawatts. The plant officially began commercial operation on 1 August 2012.[18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vision, Reporter (8 October 2012). "Museveni Commissions Bujagali Dam". New Vision. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Location of Bujagali Hydropower Station At Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Pallister, David (3 November 2003). "Africa Dam's Passage 'Eased by Bribes'". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Lilley, Sasha (28 August 2003). "AES Backs Out of Bujagali Dam Project". CorpWatch. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Kasita, Ibrahim (7 October 2012). "Evolution of the 250MW Bujagali Dam". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "About Bujagali Energy Limited". Bujagali Energy Limited. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bujagali Falls Hydropower Dam, Jinja, Uganda". Power Technology. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Mugabi, Frank (1 April 2011). "Bujagali Dam Near Completion". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Kasita, Ibrahim (31 January 2010). "Bujagali Commissioning Date Moved Forward". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Kalinaki, Daniel (7 March 2015). "Uganda In Secret Plan To Buy Back Bujagali Hydropower Project From Investors". The East African (Nairobi). Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Daily Monitor, Reporter (12 April 2011). "Nile Diverted Through Bujagali Powerhouse". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Uganda Infrastructure Report Q1:2010". Companies and Markets. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  13. ^ Barigaba, Julius (12 April 2010). "Bujagali Power Project To Come On Stream Unit By Unit In 2011". The EastAfrican (Nairobi). Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Mugabi, Frank (15 February 2011). "Bujagali First 50MW Ready In October". New Vision (Kampala). Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Wanambwa, Richard (8 November 2011). "Bujagali Opening for December 2011 - Government". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Walubiri, Moses (2 February 2012). "Bujagali Dam Opens Today". New Vision. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Kakamwa, Charles (1 June 2012). "Vice President Commissions Third Bujagali Dam Unit". New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Kasita, Ibrahim (15 June 2012). "Uganda Meets Power Needs As Bujagali Delivers 250 Megawatts". New Vision via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Bujagali: Powering Uganda From The Nile". International Water Power & Dam Construction. March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 

External links[edit]