Greentech Lead Africa: Bujagali Energy Ltd (BEL),
operator of the Bujagali hydroelectric power plant, announced that the first
50MW unit, connected to the Ugandan electricity grid has completed the
mandatory reliability test run.
BEL has commissioned the first of the five generating
units of Bujagali plant well in advance of the target. A full commissioning of
all five units is on track for mid-year. When commissioned, the 250 MW
hydropower plant will increase Uganda’s installed generation capacity by about
The 50 MW capacity generated by Bujagali’s first unit is
expected to either reduce the extent of load-shedding, currently estimated
between 120 MW – 170 MW depending on time of day, or replace emergency
generation which costs US$9 million per month.
The Bujagali project is said to be the largest privately
financed hydropower project in Africa. Bujagali was recently registered as a
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), making it the largest project ever
registered in a Least Developed Country. Bujagali will offset an average of
860,000 Carbon Emission annually.
Construction of the US $860 million Bujagali
Hydroelectric Power Plant began in 2007, the project created over 3000 local
jobs during the construction.
“We are grateful to the Government of Uganda for
providing us with the opportunity, together with our partners, to develop an
affordable, renewable, and large scale source of energy for Uganda. This
milestone is therefore an important first step towards a time when the supply
of power is adequate and massive load-shedding becomes a distant memory – an outcome
so aptly envisioned by His Highness the Aga Khan during the foundation
stone-laying ceremony for the project on 21 August 2007,” said Nizar Juma,
chairman of BEL.