Hydropower Elsewhere

Kiggundu to Oversee Karuma and Isimba Dam Projects – 21 August 2016

Dr Kiggundu
Dr Eng Badru Kiggundu

President Museveni has appointed out-going Electoral Commission chairman, Dr. Eng. Badru Kiggundu, to chair a project steering committee to oversee the successful completion of Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects. The two flagship projects have been the subject of bickering between different government departments, leaving contractors to get away with shoddy works.

According to the Sunday Monitor, in a copy of a letter dated July 23, 2016,  addressed to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Irene Muloni, Mr Museveni  has ordered a number of changes after his earlier directives to transfer all supervisory functions to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) were ignored.

Mr Kiggundu’s contract as chairman of the EC expires in November, bringing his tenure that started in 2002 to an end. He was associate professor, head of Civil Engineering department and later dean of faculty of Technology at Makerere University.

He will be deputised by Mr. John Berry, a South African currently heading Bujagali Energy Limited, having had a stint with Eskom Uganda Limited.

Other members of the committee are the Permanent Secretaries to the Finance and Energy Ministries, CEO Uganda Electricity Generation Co. Ltd, CEO Uganda Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd and the Solicitor General.

The committee’s immediate task will be to streamline the projects implementation structure and the communication protocol and, “to solve the technical and contractual challenges on the projects.” The committee will give Mr Museveni quarterly briefs updating him on the progress of the projects.


Nigeria’s Generation hits Rock Bottom in May – 6th June 2016

Early this month, it was reported that Nigeria’s power generation system hit zero megawatts six times in May this year, the highest level since 2009.

According to The Citizen, power supply to households and businesses across the country dropped significantly in May as the national grid recorded 6 total collapses and 1 partial collapse within the period; the most recent being 1st June 2016.

The data further revealed that the national grid collapsed 11 times in the first 5 months of 2016, compared to 6 and 9 times for the whole of 2015 and 2014 respectively. On Friday morning, it was reported that 11 power plants, including the Shiroro Power Station in Niger State, were not operating.

Other plants that were not operating included Afam IV & V, Geregu I, Omotosho I, AES, ASCO, Trans-Amadi, Rivers IPP, Gbarain, Olorunsogo I and II.

Gas constraints prevented 3,661.1MW from being generated, while 355.6MW and 380MW could not be generated due to line constraints/load rejection by Discos and water management/maintenance, respectively.

The Citizen reported that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, at a recent public lecture, said:

“The problems have been identified as either damaged, unmaintained or unserviced turbines in the hydro power plants; and in the cases of gas plants, it is largely non-availability of gas, coupled with lack of maintenance.”

According to the ministry of power, the total national power generation stood at 2,604.5MW as of 6am on Friday, down from a peak of 5,074.7MW on February 2, local media reported.

Museveni Suspends 3 Engineers over Shoddy Work at Karuma – 12th April 2016

President Yoweri on Tuesday suspended three Engineers from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development who are implicated in the recently detected shoddy work at the ongoing construction of the 600MW Karuma dam.

A crisis was recently reported at the Ministry, after President Museveni wrote to Minister Irene Muloni complaining about the sloppy work at the power dam.

Museveni reportedly penned a strong worded letter to the ministry following a meeting with officials from Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) — the agency that is implementing the dam projects and own them on behalf of government — during which its CEO Harrison Mutikanga and board chairman Stephen Isabalija complained of the substandard work.

Those who were suspended by the president today are the Ministry’s Senior Accounting Officer and former Ag. Permanent Secretary Eng Paul Mubiru, the Project Manager Karuma Eng. Henry Bidasala–Igaga and the Coordinator one Eng. Cecelia Menya.

SN Power to Take Over Bujagali Management – 9 April 2016

SN Power AS is in the process of taking over the development of Bujagali hydro-power station in Jinja from Sithe Global Company. This was revealed at the meeting by the representatives of the companies and President Yoweri Museveni in Fort Portal last week.

SN Power AS, a state-owned Norwegian hydropower company, and SG Bujagali Holdings Ltd, a Mauritian company indirectly owned by investment funds managed by Sithe Global, an affiliate of Blackstone, have agreed on the sale of the latter’s partial interest in the Bujagali hydropower project.

Bujagali is a 250 MW hydropower facility located near Jinja, Uganda. It was developed, financed and will continue to be operated by Bujagali Energy Limited, which is owned by affiliates of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, SG Bujagali Holdings and the Government of Uganda.

The Aga Khan Fund and the Uganda Government will retain their interests in Bujagali.


Italian Firm to fund Ethiopia’s 2,000MW Koysha hydro dam – 5th April 2016

An Italian export credit agency, Servizi Assicuative del Commerce Estero (SACE), has agreed to support the construction of Ethiopia’s 2,000MW Koysha hydro dam.

According to the local media, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn made the announcement of the development following the conclusion of the negotiations between the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and the Italian construction company, Salini Costruttori.

According to the media, an Ethiopian delegation led by EEP CEO, Azeb Asnake, and head of legal affairs directorate at the ministry of finance and economic cooperation, Wasihun Abate, travelled to Rome to finalise the vendor financing agreement and securing the necessary finance for the project anticipated to cost EUR 1.5 billion ($1.7 billion).

The Koysha hydro dam, with an anticipated 2,000MW generation capacity, is situated on the lower bank of the Omo River, in southern Ethiopia.


Museveni Loses Temper over Karuma, Isimba Dams – 31st March, 2016

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has ordered Energy Minister Irene Muloni to crack the whip in the wake of shocking revelations that Karuma and Isimba hydropower projects intended to be commissioned in about 1 year were being constructed in a shoddy way.

In his letter dated March 22, Museveni said he had received “disturbing reports” that the work being done on the two dams is substandard because the “owners’ engineers” (apparently referring to Energy Infratech PVT Ltd.)  are either “not serious or they have some other issues.”

In an angry tone, Museveni expressed shock that the engineers “do not detect faults and do not insist on correcting them.”

Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Kagambe-Kaliisa, during an on-spot field inspection of the two projects, disclosed that civil works construction was about 27% to 30% complete and that significant progress was made in other critical aspects such as excavation of the powerhouse.


Rwanda’s Ruzizi III Hydropower Obtains More Funds – 21st March 2016

Rwanda has signed a $24.17 million financing agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) in support of the regional 147MW Ruzizi III hydropower plant (HPP).

Rwanda’s minister for finance and economic planning, Claver Gatete, commented: “The project [Ruzizi III hydropower] underscores the importance of ensuring reliable and affordable electric power supply to achieve sustainable economic transformation.”

Gatete noted that the concessional loan is one of the cheapest as it stands at 0.75% and will be paid back in 38 years with a grace period of five years, reports The New Times.


SMEC to manage development of Uganda’s 183MW Isimba hydropower project – 8th March 2016

In East Africa, the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) has awarded SMEC a contract to provide project management and construction supervision services on the 183MW Isimba hydropower project.

SMEC will help UEGCL oversee the performance of various contractors, including the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and owner’s engineer, the Water Power magazine reported.


President Lungu of Zambia inaugurates 120MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower station – 7th March 2016

Zambian president Edgar Lungu, on Saturday commissioned the newly-constructed 120MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydropower station located in the southern province of Zambia.

Addressing the Itezhi-Tezhi residents, Lungu said government is committed to making the country an energy power house in the southern African region.

“This is being achieved through several key projects aimed at addressing the entire power system infrastructure including generation, transmission and distribution. The commissioning of the 120MW Itehzi-Tezhi hydropower project demonstrates my government’s unwavering efforts to ensure the country has the much needed energy security,” he said.


Tanzania Closes Hydro Power Plants – 9th October, 2015

“All hydro power plants in Tanzania are being switched off because lack of rain has led to low water levels in the country’s dams,” reported the BBC last Friday 9th October 2015, as Uganda celebrated her 53rd Independence Anniversary. The report went on to say that hydro-electricity generation had fallen below 20% of capacity, making it difficult to operate. It added that it was the first time Tanzania had closed all its hydro plants, that generate 35% of its electricity. The Daily Telegraph of the UK also carried the same story. However, government officials think this crisis may be for just a couple weeks as they expect heavy rains anywhere between the end of this month and December.


Uganda Signs Sh350b Loan Deal for 45MW Dam – 17th August 2015

The Government of Uganda has signed a loan and grant with two international funding agencies – French Agency for Development (AFD) and German’s KfW – totalling euro 89m (about sh350b) for the construction of a new 44.7MW power dam, reports the New Vision.The dam on R. Muzizi, 6km upstream of L. Albert, is to cost a total of euro 110m (about sh440b) of which the government will contribute euro 21m (sh83b). It is expected to generate about 220GWh per year – an equivalent to power demand of more than 60 thousand households, after completion in 2019.