UGANDA/TANZANIA: Voith Hydro commissions Kikagati hydropower plant

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UGANDA/TANZANIA: Voith Hydro commissions the Kikagati hydropower plant© Voith Hydro

The turbines of the Kikagati hydroelectric power plant are now in operation. The equipment was installed by the German company Voith Hydro, to supply the electricity networks of Uganda and Tanzania.

A new cross-border dam is coming into operation in East Africa. Located on the border between Tanzania and Uganda, the facility operates with a power plant whose turbines were recently commissioned by Voith Hydro. The company based in Heidenheim (Germany) has installed three turbines of 5.19 MW each. The company successfully executed a contract won from Kikagati Power Company (KPC), the project’s special purpose company.

The Kikagati hydroelectric plant has a capacity of 15.57 MW. Its dam is located on the Kagera River, the largest tributary of Lake Victoria, which serves as the natural border between Tanzania and Uganda. The dam is 8.5 m high and 300 m long, forming a reservoir on 4 km2 of Tanzanian territory. The electricity produced by the hydroelectric plant is evacuated via a 33 kV line.

An investment of $87 million

KPC sells its output to Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL). The Ugandan state-owned company, which is responsible for electricity distribution, sells part of this energy to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO). The project, which is nearing completion, adds up to 115 GWh of electricity per year to the power grids of both countries.

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The project required an investment of $87 million to implement. The work was financed through loans taken by KPC from the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a multi-donor organization with members from seven European countries and the World Bank Group.

The project has also received support from the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), a $205 million fund managed by Berkeley Energy. All the loans will be repaid over 16 years, starting from the commissioning date of the Kikagati hydropower plant.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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