Uganda launches newly connected hydropower plant

A contractor looks at the camera as others rest at the construction of the Karuma 600 megawatts hydroelectric power project under construction on River Nile, Uganda February 20, 2018. Photo : REUTERS

NEWSROOM (ADV) – Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday inaugurated the Chinese-built Isimba Hydropower Plant on the Victoria Nile in the central part of the African country.

Addressing the inauguration, Museveni thanked the Chinese government for financing his country’s transport and energy infrastructure projects, which are expected to put the country onto a fast track of development.

Zheng Zhuqiang, the Chinese ambassador to Uganda, praised the Chinese contractor, China International Water & Electric Corp. and its local counterparts, for delivering a high-quality power station.

“This project is one of the remarkable achievements in China-Uganda and in China-Africa cooperation,” Zheng said.

The 183 MW power plant cost an estimated 568 million U.S. dollars, with 85 percent in a concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. Uganda provides the rest of the funding.

The power plant is intended to address a power shortage that experts say affects Uganda’s economic development. Its construction started in 2015 and hired more than 3,000 workers, of whom 85 percent were Ugandans.

China is also financing the building of the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Plant, another power plant at the upper stretch of the river Nile, in northern Uganda.

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