By John Odyek
Government and a German firm have signed $1.7m Euro (sh7.1b) supervision contract agreement for the construction of Nyagak III Small Hydro Power Project located in West Nile region.
The project is located along Nyagak River in Zombo District.The project will generate 5.5mw of electricity that will be sold at an affordable price to over 8,500 households in the region.
The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) signed the agreement on behalf of government with German based GOPA-International Energy Consultants GmbH in association with Italian based Zollet Ingegneria as owner's engineer for the project. The function took place at the UEGCL offices in Nakasero.
Dr. Eng. Harrison Mutikanga, chief executive officer UEGCL said they were hiring a reputable firm as 'owner's engineer' whose role will be to carry out construction supervision of the project to ensure adherence to the work plan, budget, quality standards and health, safety and environment standards.
He said Nyagak III is to be developed as a public – private partnership by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) (Genmax Nyagak Limited) formed between UEGCL and the procured Private Sector Partner, a consortium of Hydromax Limited and Dott Services Limited.
The project has got support from the German government through KfW Development who has given a grant of 8 million Euros (sh33b) to the project of which 2 million Euros (sh8.3b) is to cover the consultancy and transaction advisory costs and the balance of 6 million Euros (sh25b) to cover part of the construction costs.
The procured private sector partner shall contribute the rest of the capital cost required for the realization of the project. The ground breaking ceremony for the construction is scheduled for December and the completion date is set for 2018.
Kathrin Kaestle, senior project manager energy KfW said the project was very important to the region because it would lead to building capacity for social and economic development. "We have a string focus on West Nile region to develop generation capacity and grid connection and extension to households. There is a big need for electricity supply in the region," Kaestle said.
Mary Mwogeza, project coordinator Nyagak III UEGCL said the project would affect 310 persons and sh630m had been ear marked for their compensation. Mwogeza added that the project at its peak of construction would create over 300 jobs. She said the total construction costs of the dam was US$17.1m (sh62b).
Anil Ghatikar, executive director GOPA-International Energy Consultants GmbH Sub Sahara Africa said the firm had an experienced team that would carry out the project as required. Ghatikar said to carry out this type of project needs engineers with close to 20 years of experience in the field and they are not very many. Ghatikar said the company was committed to producing quality work which underpins the worldwide reputation, and size of the firm.