Ugandan small hydro project gets financial backing

KILEMBE, Uganda 1/24/12 (PennWell) -- The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) has arranged a US$24 million senior loan for the financing of a 14-MW run-of-river hydropower plant in Uganda.

Of the $24 million, FMO will provide $12 million, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund will provide $6 million, DEG $4 million and Finnfund $2 million. DEG is the investment arm of Germany's government and Finnfund is a development finance company that provides long-term risk capital for projects in developing countries.

The project is being developed by South Asia Energy Management Systems LLC (SAEMS) and will be located in the village of Kilembe, in the Kasese district of Uganda.

According to an FMO release, Uganda currently has one of the lowest rates of per capita energy consumption in the world, with only 10% of the population having access to electricity.

The Kilembe project -- along with SAEMS' earlier 19-MW Mpanga project -- are part of an overall plan to develop 13 small hydropower projects in Uganda.

Since 2009, FMO has arranged $55 million in loans for the development of 12 hydropower projects totaling 58 MW in Uganda and Sri Lanka.

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