Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station
River Nile, 5 km (3 mi) downstream of Bujagali Dam.
Location of Bujagali Power Station
Placement on map is approximate
|Dam and spillways|
|Type of dam||Gravity dam|
|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[update], 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).
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, 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.
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, was formed to develop the project. The new developers formed a company called Bujagali Energy Limited. Construction of the dam and powerhouse started in June 2007, with loans from the International Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank, and the African Development Bank. Salini, an Italian construction company, was selected to be the lead contractor. The power station began commercial operations on 1 August 2012. At the peak of construction activity, the project employed over 2,500 people, including about 2,200 Ugandan nationals.
|Rank||Name of Owner||Percentage Ownership|
|1||Industrial Promotion Services|
|2||SG Bujagali Holdings|
|3||Government of Uganda||4.63|
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 80 kilometres (50 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:
- International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group
- African Development Bank
- European Investment Bank
- German Investment Corporation
- PROPARCO of France
- French Development Agency
- Netherlands Development Finance Company
The project was completed in 2012, although partial power generation started in 2011. 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. On 2 February 2012, Ugandan newspapers reported the commissioning of the first turbine of the power station. In May 2012, the third 50 megawatt turbine was commissioned, bringing output to 150 megawatts. 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.
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- Kasita, Ibrahim (15 June 2012). "Uganda Meets Power Needs As Bujagali Delivers 250 Megawatts". New Vision via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Bujagali: Powering Uganda From The Nile" (PDF). International Water Power & Dam Construction. March 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Bujagali Energy Company Homepage
- AKFED Homepage
- Sithe Global Homepage
- Bujagali Will Double Uganda's Electric Output