Nyagak Power Station

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Nyagak Power Station
Nyagak Power Station is located in Uganda
Nyagak Power Station
Map of Uganda showing the location of
Nyagak Power Station
Country Uganda
Location Paidha
Coordinates 02°25′48″N 30°57′49″E / 2.43000°N 30.96361°E / 2.43000; 30.96361Coordinates: 02°25′48″N 30°57′49″E / 2.43000°N 30.96361°E / 2.43000; 30.96361
Status Operational
Dam and spillways
Impounds Nyagak River
Normal elevation 1,380 m (4,530 ft)
Power station
Commission date September 2012[1]
Type Run-of-the-river
Turbines 2
Installed capacity 3.5 MW (4,700 hp)

Nyagak Power Station is a 3.5 megawatts (4,700 hp) mini hydroelectric power plant in Uganda.


The power station is located across the Nyagak River, in Nyapea Sub-county, Okoro County, Zombo District, in West Nile, Northern Uganda. This location lies in the town of Paidha, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This location lies approximately 85 kilometres (53 mi), by road, south of Arua, the largest town in the sub-region.[2]


The site and the development concept for the project have been extensively studied, including:

  • An EIA study by Gissat Technical Consultants Limited in 1997
  • A detailed feasibility and EIA studies by Harza Engineering 1998
  • An EIA study by NORPLAN in 2001
  • An Environmental Impact Statement by Environmental Management Associates and ECON Center for Economic Analysis in 2005.[3]

The Nyagak Hydropower project, in its first phase, is expected to generate 3.5 MW, using a run-of-river scheme. A diversion weir, 14 metres (46 ft) high, will be constructed about 600 metres (2,000 ft) downstream from the Paidha-Nyapea Road Bridge. A power intake will be located at the left abutment of the weir. The water conveyance works comprise a 1-kilometre (0.62 mi) long pipeline, a surge shaft, and a 400-metre (1,300 ft) long surface penstock. The powerhouse will be configured to accommodate two 1.65 megawatts (2,210 hp) generating units along with the associated electro-mechanical equipment. West Nile is not connected to the Uganda National Electric Grid and is not expected to be connected to the national network until the planned 600 megawatts (800,000 hp) Karuma Power Station comes online in 2018.

It is anticipated that power produced from Nyagak will serve a population in excess of one million people in Arua District, Nebbi District and Zombo District. A 33kV powerline connecting the two towns of Arua and Nebbi is being developed. A 33kV powerline already exists between the towns of Nebbi and Paidha, and is just a short distance away from the proposed powerhouse. The structural design allows for future expansion of the generation capacity to 7 megawatts (9,400 hp) of power.

All the studies carried out prior to construction of the powerhouse, indicated that there are potentially low environmental and social impacts that would result from the implementation of the Nyagak Hydropower Project. The main reasons for this is that the hydro scheme is small and its impacts are limited. The area is sparsely populated with low aquatic and terrestrial ecological characteristics.

The Nyagak Hydropower project is in line with the Ugandan government’s plans for the decentralization and privatization of hydropower systems. The Government of Uganda, through support from the World Bank, is in the process of implementing the Energy for Rural Transformation (ERT) through the African Rural Renewable Energy Initiative (AFRREI). West Nile Rural Electrification Company (WENRECO), a subsidiary of Industrial Promotion Services, was selected to develop the power plant.[4] Construction began in December 2006.

Construction delays[edit]

The project has delayed for nearly two decades due to financial and procurement hurdles at government level. President Yoweri Museveni broke ground in February 2006. In December 2006, the Czech construction firm Skodaexport Company Limited, started construction. Since 2006, about ten deadlines have been issued for the completion of the dam.[5]

After multiple delays and interruptions, the construction of the power station resumed in August 2010. Spencon Services of India, was selected as the new contractor on the project. Under revised terms of the construction contract, the Government of Uganda took a 10% shareholding in the power station.[6]

In November 2011, Ugandan media reports indicated that the power station would come on-line in late March 2012.[7]

By July 2012, the construction of the power station was complete. Technical commissioning was scheduled for July or August 2012, and political commissioning was scheduled for later in 2012.[8] On 14 September 2012, President Yoweri Museveni commissioned the power plant.

Construction costs[edit]

The estimated costs for the dam and power plant is approximately US$15 million. This does not include the construction of additional 33kV transmission power lines under the planned West Nile Grid Extension and Rehabilitation Project, linking the towns of Paidha, Nebbi, Bondo, Okollo and Arua, estimated at about US$16 million.[9] German Investment Corporation (DEG), a subsidiary of the German Development Bank (KfW), is providing US$11 million to the construction of Nyagak Power Station, as well as US$13 million to the West Nile Electric Grid Extension and Rehabilitation Project.[10]

Photos and diagrams[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Okelo, Felix Warom (16 September 2012). "Museveni Switches On Nyagak". Daily Monitor. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Map Showing Paidha And Arua With Distance Marker". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Environmental Impact Statement For Nyagak Minihydro Power Station" (PDF). Lindhjem.info. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Kalyango, Ronald (6 February 2006). "Paidha Power Plant Launched". New Vision. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Okello, Felix Warom (19 September 2011). "Patients Pay For Electricity As Black-outs Hit West Nile". Daily Monitor Mobile. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Kalyango, Ronald (5 August 2010). "Uganda: Construction of Nyagak Power Dam to Resume". New Vision via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Batre, Ronald (21 November 2011). "Contractors: Nyagak Power Dam Will Be Ready In March". Uganda Radio Network Online. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Okethwengu, Benedict (20 July 2012). "Uganda: Nyagak Power Dam to Be Commissioned On July 31". New Vision via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Musasizi, S (2011). "West Nile Power Crisis: Locals Chide Muloni". The Observer (Uganda) via Energy Programme Uganda. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Ondoga, Ayiga (15 November 2013). "West Nile Power Line Extension Begins". New Vision. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 

External links[edit]