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$862 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)

The 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 Aga Khan IV in the presence of African politicians and investors.

The capacity of the power station is 250 megawatts (340,000 hp). The station is the most powerful hydroelectric energy source in Uganda, although the planned Karuma and Ayago power stations would be larger.

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 was managed by Bujagali Energy Limited, which selected Italian contractor Salini Impregilo to develop the project.


The power station lies across the Victoria Nile, about 9.7 kilometres (6.0 mi) north-west of the town of Jinja and immediately north of the former location of the Bujagali Falls. It is 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 pulled out of the deal, citing a protracted process because of objections from environmentalists.[4][5]

A new consortium, Bujagali Energy Limited, was created by Sithe Global Power LLC, from the United States, and Industrial Promotion Services, a division of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, and was tasked with developing the project.[6] Construction of the dam and powerhouse started in June 2007. Salini Impregilo 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 Ugandan nationals.[8]


As of January 2010, Bujagali Energy Limited was owned by the following entities:[9][10]

Bujagali Energy Limited Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Industrial Promotion Services
2 SN Power[11]
3 Government of Uganda
Total 100.00

Construction costs[edit]

The estimated costs for the dam and power plant was 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 80 kilometres (50 mi).

Bujagali Energy Limited invested approximately US$190 million of its own money into the project. The rest of the funds were borrowed from the following international lenders:[12]

  1. International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group
  2. African Development Bank
  3. European Investment Bank
  4. German Investment Corporation
  5. KfW
  6. PROPARCO of France
  7. French Development Agency
  8. Netherlands Development Finance Company

Completion date[edit]

The project was completed in 2012, although partial power generation started in 2011.[13]

In April 2010, The EastAfrican, a Kenyan weekly publication, indicated that the opening of the dam would be phased, one unit at a time.[14] On 2 February 2012, Ugandan newspapers reported the commissioning of the first turbine of the power station.[15] In May 2012, the third 50 megawatt turbine was commissioned, bringing output to 150 megawatts.[16] 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.[17][18]

The cost of power[edit]

As of October 2016, the dam's utilization rate was approximately 70 percent. The power generated cost the end user about US$0.11/kilowatt-hour, which was the highest rate in the East African Community.[19] In September 2016, the government of Uganda began negotiations with equity partners and lenders to restructure the financing of the dam to reduce the cost to the end-user to about US$0.072/kilowatt-hours.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vision, Reporter (8 October 2012). "Museveni Commissions Bujagali Dam". New Vision. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Google (13 August 2015). "Location of Bujagali Hydropower Station At Google Maps" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  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. ^ Wesonga, Nelson (1 June 2016). "Norwegian company buys Shs337 billion Bujagali shares". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  12. ^ Daily Monitor Reporter (12 April 2011). "Nile Diverted Through Bujagali Powerhouse". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Uganda Infrastructure Report Q1:2010". Companies and Markets. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Barigaba, Julius (12 April 2010). "Bujagali Power Project To Come On Stream Unit By Unit In 2011". Nairobi: The EastAfrican. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Walubiri, Moses (2 February 2012). "Bujagali Dam Opens Today". New Vision. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Kakamwa, Charles (1 June 2012). "Vice President Commissions Third Bujagali Dam Unit". Kampala: New Vision. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bujagali: Powering Uganda From The Nile" (PDF). International Water Power & Dam Construction. March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Ketchum, Ryan (1 November 2012). "Developing Bujagali, the Largest Private Sector Investment in Uganda". Hydroworld.com. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  19. ^ a b Daniel K. Kalinaki (16 October 2016). "Uganda to extend Bujagali tax breaks beyond mid-2017 over high power tariffs". The EastAfrican. Nairobi. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 

External links[edit]