Kampala- State Minister for Energy Simon D’Ujanga yesterday tasked Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) to fast-track preparatory activities to pave way for construction of the long long-awaited Nyagak Mini-hydro Power Dam in West Nile.
Mr D’Ujanga, while officiating the revival of the project plans, revealed that as a result of the delays government has “diffused” three political upheavals in the district and its neighbours owing to repeated outages and inadequate power supply.
“It is a project that is key to us, and government is ready to avail the money for construction to start,” Mr D’Ujanga said.
The plan to get the 6.6 megawatts hydropower dam along River Nyagak in Nyapea sub-county in Zombo District, off the ground was last year set back by the withdrawal of the one the financiers - German state-owned development bank, KfW.
The project is being developed as a Public- Private Partnership.
KfW had committed €6m (approximately Shs25b) and government is now going to pick as its 30 per cent equity.
The remaining 70 per cent as debt will be mobilised by the new private investor, Genmax, a special purpose vehicle comprising of Dott Services as the contractor, Tata Consulting Engineers as the project designer, and Hydomax Limited, which has done similar works on mini-hydro dams in Hoima District.
The entire project cost is about $19.4m (Shs71b).
Mr Reddy Maheswara, the Hydromax’s executive director, said preparatory activities are already ongoing and expect the project construction to commence in May.
“We are having a team from TDB Bank (formerly PTA) coming into the country to do due diligence, on providing funding,” Mr Maheswara said yesterday at the Ministry of Energy offices.
The project developer, Genmax, will operate the dam for a period of 20 years after which it will be handed back to government.
The project construction timelines, according to UEGCL’s chief executive officer Harrison Mutikanga is 33 months.
He also revealed that they have hired German-based GOPA international energy consultants to supervise construction of the project.