Renewable energy independent power producer, Serengeti Energy, has secured a US$10.6 million loan from the Private Infrastructure Development Group’s (PIDG) Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) for the Nyamwamba ll 7.8MW run-of-the-river hydroelectricity plant in the Kasese District of Western Uganda.
The financing transaction for the 17 year loan was signed on 13th May 2022, with EAIF as the sole lender of the project. The hydropower project is the 10th renewable energy project EAIF has backed in Uganda.
The Nyamwamba ll hydropower plant was commissioned in March this year. The project was financed using equity to expedite its delivery. EAIF’s loan will make the project more financially sustainable and deliver long-term impact.
“EAIF’s loan allows us to unlock and redeploy our construction equity capital in the funding of other greenfield renewable energy plants in Sub-Saharan Africa. We would like to appreciate EAIF in supporting this project and as such our mandate to develop, construct and operate small to medium-sized renewable energy projects that builds capacity, improves reliability and contributes to Africa’s sustainable economic development,” said Wilfred van den Bos, Serengeti Energy’s Development Director.
The project has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL), and all the energy produced by the plant will be fed to Uganda’s national grid.
Design, construction and installation was done by SAEMS Hydro Ltd from Uganda – with Andritz Hydro of Germany as the Electromechanical supplier. The project includes a 5.5km transmission line that delivers the plant’s output to the regional grid.
Improving energy access in Uganda
Just 3 in 10 people in rural Uganda have access to electricity. The Nyamwamba project will support Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13 by improving access to electricity for thousands of grid-connected users, while minimising emissions.
Uganda’s government has plans to set up an industrial park in Kasese district, focussed on food and raw materials processing, leading to increased demand of between 50 and 100MW. Nyamwamba ll is part of a regional electricity generation and supply industry providing power for manufacturing, agriculture, homes and public services.
“PIDG and EAIF are delighted to support yet another renewable energy project in Uganda. Nyamwamba ll will deliver green energy that will stimulate economic activity in a rural region, unlock suppressed demand for power, reduce transmission losses and improve the stability of Uganda’s electricity grid,” said Sumit Kanodia, an Investment Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety One.
Serengeti Energy currently has seven operational plants, in Uganda, South Africa and Rwanda, and two under construction in Malawi and Sierra Leone.