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KAMPALA UGANDA: Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), the owner and operator of the Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant (Bujagali) today confirmed that the first 50MW unit has been delivering power reliably to the national grid for transmission and distribution to the Ugandan public since 22 February 2012, and that the unit has since successfully completed the mandatory reliability test run.
Responding to the Government of Uganda’s request for a unit by unit commissioning of the plant in order to replace expensive thermal generation at the earliest date and minimize load-shedding, BEL has commissioned the first of the five generating units well in advance of the target commercial operations date of 24 June 2012. Having achieved this important milestone, a full commissioning of all five units is on track for mid-year. When all five units are commissioned, the 250MW hydropower plant will increase Uganda’s installed generation capacity by about 50 percent.
The 50MW capacity generated by Bujagali’s first unit is expected to either reduce the extent of load-shedding, currently estimated between 120MW-170MW depending on time of day, or replace emergency generation which costs US$9 million per month, thereby bringing forth significant positive impact to Uganda’s economy. This is in addition to over 3000 local jobs created during the project’s construction.
Construction of the US $860 million Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Plant located on the Nile River, 8 km downstream from Lake Victoria, began in 2007. The project is being developed by BEL, a company co-owned by Sithe Global, a company majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone, and Industrial Promotion Services (K) Ltd. (“IPS”), which is the Infrastructure and Industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, in partnership with the Government of Uganda.
Mr. Nizar Juma, Chairman of BEL and IPS (K), said: “We are grateful to the Government of Uganda for providing us with the opportunity, together with our partners, to develop an affordable, renewable, and large scale source of energy for Uganda. This milestone is therefore an important first step towards a time when the supply of power is adequate and massive load-shedding becomes a distant memory -- an outcome so aptly envisioned by His Highness the Aga Khan during the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the project on 21 August 2007.”
The Bujagali project is arguably the largest privately financed hydropower project in Africa. The winner of Euromoney’s “Project Finance Magazine” Africa Power Deal of the Year award for 2007, Bujagali was recently registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), making it the largest project ever registered in a Least Developed Country. Bujagali will yield an average of 860,000 Carbon Emission Reductions (CERs) annually.
Bruce Wrobel, Chairman and CEO of Sithe Global said: “We are pleased to be making a portion of the capacity of the Bujagali project available to Uganda on a reliable basis. The completion of the reliability test on the first of the five units is an important step, but it is still just a step in the full process. We are working hard to complete the full commissioning of the remaining four units as quickly as possible so that the promise of clean, reliable power from Bujagali will be realized.”
David Foley, Senior Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners said: “Today’s announcement marks an important milestone for Bujagali and we are proud to be a partner in helping to bring clean, reliable and affordable energy to the Ugandan public. This project exemplifies the kind of progress and positive impact that can be achieved, for the economy and the public, when private capital works in partnership with the public sector.”
The lenders for the project are the 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 Developpement (“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 will provide insurance guarantee cover for Sithe Global’s equity.
Bujagali Energy Limited
BEL is a special purpose company, co-owned by (a) Industrial Promotion Services (K) (“IPS”), an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (“AKFED”); (b) an affiliate of Sithe Global Power, LLC (“Sithe”), itself 99% owned by funds managed by Blackstone; and (c) the Government of Uganda.
BEL’s mandate is to build, own, operate and eventually transfer the Bujagali hydroelectric power plant to the Government of Uganda after 30 years for US$1.00. For more information, please visit http://www.bujagali-energy.com/default.htm .
About Sithe Global
Sithe Global Power, LLC is 99% owned by funds managed by Blackstone. Blackstone purchased an 80% ownership interest in Sithe Global in 2005 and subsequently increased it to 99% in 2011 with the objective of facilitating Sithe Global Power's plans to develop, finance, construct and operate electric power generation facilities in the U.S. and certain international markets. Sithe Global has a portfolio of power projects in various stages of development and construction in the Philippines, India, Africa, the Middle East and other regions totaling approximately 5,000 MW of generating capacity. Sithe Global also continues to pursue other opportunities within Africa.
Sithe Global Power is led by a seasoned management and technical team with extensive independent power project development experience, and a proven record of identifying project development and acquisition opportunities which create substantial value for its investors. The Sithe Global management team has successfully developed over 50 power plant projects in nine countries with a capital investment in excess of $5 billion.
Further details may be obtained from website www.sitheglobal.com .
About Industrial Promotion Services (K) Ltd. (“IPS”)
IPS is the infrastructure and industrial development of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). IPS has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and DR Congo and is also actively pursuing investment opportunities in Rwanda, Mozambique and Madagascar. Outside the East and Central Africa region, IPS also operates in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Canada.
AKFED is an international development agency dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. AKFED focuses on building enterprises in parts of the world that lack sufficient foreign direct investment. It also makes bold but calculated investments in situations that are fragile and complex.
IPS’s involvement in power comprises 288MW Azito gas power plant in Cote D’Ivoire; concessionaire for Energie du Mali (power & water utility); Kenya’s 75 MW diesel plant; and a vertically integrated off-grid utility involved in generation, distribution and sale of electricity in the West Nile district of Uganda. IPS companies in East Africa have a total workforce of about 8,500 employees
IPS is also a partner in the $650m SEACOM submarine cable which commenced operations in July 2009. The cable links countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa to international cables in South Africa, India and Europe. In doing so provide access to affordable and high quality bandwidth to all Southern and Eastern Africa countries, which was hitherto the only part of the world that did not have access to international submarine cables.
Co-investors in IPS’s interest in Bujagali are AKFED and Jubilee Investment Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Jubilee Holdings Limited (JHL). Established in 1937 JHL is the oldest insurance company in Kenya. It is quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and boasts the highest shareholders’ funds in the Kenyan insurance industry. AKFED owns 38% of JHL.
Further details may be obtained from website www.akdn.org .
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment and advisory firms and is an experienced and active investor in the energy and natural resources sector. Funds managed by Blackstone have invested/committed approximately $6 billion in the sector to-date across four continents. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, the companies we advise and the broader global economy. We do this through the commitment of our extraordinary people and flexible capital. Our alternative asset management businesses include the management of private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge fund solutions, credit-oriented funds and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including financial and strategic advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement services. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com . Follow us on Twitter @Blackstone.
Bujagali Energy Limited
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