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President Museveni and the Aga Khan Inaugurate Bujagali Hydropower Plant 2012-10-08

His Highness the Agha Khan greets Uganda's ministers Irene Muloni and Daudi Migereko during the commissioning of the Bujagali da
Date: 
Monday, 2012, October 8
Location: 

Bujagali

Jinja, Uganda, 8 October 2012 — His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni today inaugurated the 250MW Bujagali Hydropower Plant in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan.

Constructed at a cost of US$900 million, Bujagali has been jointly developed by Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Sithe Global Power LLC (USA), a company majority-owned by a fund, Blackstone Capital Partners IV, L.P., managed by Blackstone on behalf of its investors, and the Government of Uganda. Bujagali, which is a clean and renewable source of generation, nearly doubles the country’s effective generation capacity, thereby eliminating the over 12-hour daily load-shedding that up until recently characterized Uganda’s power sector.

The inauguration ceremony, which took place on the eve of celebrations marking 50 years of Uganda’s independence, was attended by government officials, heads of State from across Africa, international dignitaries and members of the diplomatic community.

Speaking at the commissioning event, H.E. President Yoweri Museveni emphasised the importance of the Bujagali Plant and a stable, reliable and plentiful electricity supply, to the welfare and development of Uganda and its people. He thanked the project partners for having delivered the plant on schedule and commended His Highness for his role in establishing a successful consortium.

Bujagali represents one of the largest privately-funded power sector investments ever made in Sub-Saharan Africa and sets a unique precedent for public-private partnerships. The plant will be operated by Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), a company established by the project sponsors and the government of Uganda for the sole purpose of developing and subsequently operating the plant for a 30-year period, following which it will be transferred to the government of Uganda for a nominal price of US one dollar.

“At its heart, the Bujagali project is a Ugandan project. It is a Ugandan success story and I would like to thank the President for having led this initiative in a way where this unique public private partnership was able to move forward,” said His Highness the Aga Khan at the ceremony. “This project has not stopped at the delivery of energy. It is investing in education, healthcare and social development, and all those aspects which improve the quality of life of people who live within the ambit of the project. I think this is an important lesson to be learnt, because ultimately the goal is to improve the quality of life of people in the most complete manner possible,” he further added.

The plant, construction of which commenced in August 2007, not only guarantees adequate power generation for Uganda in the medium-term, but, importantly, lowers the base cost of electricity in the country. Bujagali comprises five units of 50MW each, commissioned in phases between February 2012 and June 2012.

“That a project of Bujagali’s size and complexity has been completed on time and within budget whilst adhering to the highest technical as well as social and environmental standards is a huge testimony to the quality and experience of the sponsor, development and construction teams, with whom I am truly proud to be associated. The Bujagali experience is invaluable and we will certainly draw from it when developing future projects in the region,” observed Mr. Nizar Juma, the Chairman of Bujagali Energy Ltd.

Uganda’s electricity demand has been growing by 10% every year, while supply prior to the commissioning of Bujagali has remained stagnant. Frequent load-shedding accounted for between 1 to 1.5% loss to Uganda’s GDP, thereby slowing the country’s economic and social development. Since its commissioning, Bujagali has replaced over 100MW of expensive rental generation, saving the government over US$9.5 million per month in subsidies. It is expected to be an important catalyst for accelerated social and economic growth throughout the region.

The project serves as an example of a highly successful public-private partnership model, ideal for replication throughout the region.

Speaking at the event, David Foley, Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners, said “Bujagali showcases how successful partnerships between the public and private sectors can create development opportunities for growing economies. Blackstone is proud to have played an important role together with our partner, His Highness the Aga Khan, in the development of Bujagali, the successful completion of which is a credit to President Museveni and the leadership of the Government of Uganda. Africa is a resource-rich continent and is primed for the development of hydroelectric power generation facilities like Bujagali. On behalf of our investors, Blackstone has invested billions of dollars of equity capital to build energy businesses on four continents around the globe and will continue to invest in emerging market countries to provide them with affordable, safe and reliable energy to sustain their economic growth.”

During the peak of construction, Bujagali Hydropower Plant employed approximately 3,000 workers, of which 2,000 of the most highly skilled continue to positively contribute to the Ugandan power sector, and also to the country’s construction industry. The plant has also led to improved community services such as clean water supply, improved education and health facilities in nearby villages, micro-credit funds to surrounding rural populations and enhanced infrastructure. Access to electricity is also being provided.

The Plant has been registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), making it the largest CDM project registered in a Least Developed Country. Bujagali will yield an average of 900,000 Carbon Dioxide Emission Reductions (CERs) annually, putting it at the forefront of clean energy efforts.

Bruce J. Wrobel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sithe Global who was also present at the commissioning said, “We believe that projects like Bujagali, which has both impacted the energy sector in Uganda in a far-reaching positive way and mitigated the ecological footprint of a generation, is the key to sustainable development. We are proud to have joined our partners, the lenders and the Government of Uganda in bringing this project to a reality and it is gratifying to see the impacts the project is already having, not only by making available ample, clean, renewable energy, but also by having a positive effect on the lives of the people living in the community and region around this project.”

The project was also made possible by support from a number of other lenders: International Finance Corporation (“IFC”), the European Investment Bank, African Development Bank (“AfDB”), Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelinsslanden N.V. (“FMO”), Societe de Promotion et de Participation pour la Cooperation Economique (“Proparco”)/Agence Francaise de Development (“AFD”), DEG-Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH (“DEG”) and KfW. Barclays/ABSA Capital and Standard Chartered Bank are providing commercial debt under an International Development Association (“IDA”) Partial Risk Guarantee, while MIGA is providing insurance guarantee cover for Sithe Global’s equity.

For more information, please contact:

Contact: Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL)
Dr Kevin Kariuki
kevin.kariuki@ipskenya.com
+254-20-3280000/2228026

Semin Abdulla
Aga Khan Development Network
semin.abdulla@akdn.org
+33344584000

Oriane Schwartzman
Public Affairs
Blackstone
Oriane.Schwartzman@Blackstone.com
+1-212-390-2250


Speech

Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Bujagali Hydropower Project 2012-10-08

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Source: 
AKDN

Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Bujagali Hydropower Project
08 October 2012

Bismillah-ir-Rahaman-ir-Rahim

Your Excellency, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, and Your Excellency, the First Lady,
Your Excellency, President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi,
Your Excellency, President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan,
Your Excellency, President Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,
Your Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Vice President of Tanzania,

Press Release

LIVE UPDATES: Museveni commissions Bujagali Dam

President of South Sudan Gen. Salva Kiir, His Highness the Aga Khan greets Energy Miniter Irene Muloni and Lands and Housing Min
Source: 
Daily Monitor

EAT17:15: However, the President says, Uganda could witness loadshedding within the next two years unless other electricity projects are initiated. He asks Bujagali Energy consortium to consider other projects. He also asks the Aga Khan to get him investors who will add value to Uganda’s produce.

EAT17:20: The President formally commissions the project. “It’s now my pleasure to declare commissioned the Bujagali Hydro Power Project,” he says, while unveiling a plaque to symbolise the commissioning.

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