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′51″N 33°08′24″E / 0.49750°N 33.14000°E / 0.49750; 33.14000Coordinates: 00°29′51″N 33°08′24″E / 0.49750°N 33.14000°E / 0.49750; 33.14000
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

Bujagali Power Station is a hydroelectric power station across at the Victoria Nile that harnesses the energy of its namesake – the Bujagali Falls. 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 power station is 250 megawatts, 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 has been a source of some concern, as investors have joined and departed from the project. In its current incarnation, the plant is funded by the Bujagali Energy Company Limited, who selected Italian contractor Salini to develop the project.


The power station is 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' 51.00"N, 33° 08' 24.00"E (latitude:0.4975; longitude:33.1400).


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,[2] 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.[3][4]

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 Company Limited.[5] 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.[6]

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:[7]

  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. [1] of France
  7. The French Development Agency (AFD) and
  8. The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO)

Completion date[edit]

The project completed in 2012, although partial power generation started as early as 2011.[8] 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.[9] In November 2011, the Daily Monitor, another Ugandan newspaper, reported that the first 50MW will be turned on in December 2011.[10] On 2 February 2012, Ugandan newspapers reported the commissioning of the first turbine of the power station.[11] In May 2012, the third 50 megawatt turbine was commissioned, bringing output to 150 megawatts.[12] 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 August 1, 2012.[13][14]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]