Kampala, Uganda, March 19, 2012 — Bujagali Energy Limited, the owner and operator of the Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant confirmed that the first 50 MW unit has been delivering power reliably to the national grid for transmission and distribution to the Ugandan public since February 22, 2012, and that the unit has since successfully completed the mandatory reliability test run.
Responding to the government of Uganda's request for a unit by unit commissioning of the plant in order to replace expensive thermal generation at the earliest date and minimize load-shedding, BEL has commissioned the first of the five generating units well in advance of the target commercial operations date of June 24, 2012.
Having achieved this milestone, a full commissioning of all five units is on track for mid-year. When all five units are commissioned, the 250 MW hydropower plant will increase Uganda's installed generation capacity by about 50 percent.
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 $9 million per month, thereby bringing forth positive impact to Uganda's economy. This is in addition to more than 3,000 local jobs created during the project's construction.
Construction of the US $860 million Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant located on the Nile River, 8 km downstream from Lake Victoria, began in 2007. The project is being developed by BEL, a company co-owned by Sithe Global, a company majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone, and Industrial Promotion Services Ltd., which is the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, in partnership with the government of Uganda.