Uganda's 3.5-MW Paidha hydropower plant now operational

The commissioning of a 3.5-MW Paidha hydroelectric plant in Uganda's Zombo District will supply the West Nile sub-region with a reliable source of electricity.

The plant -- located on the Nyagak River -- was developed by the West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd. (WENRECo), with financial support from the World Bank and Germany's KfW Bankengruppe.

WENRECo is a subsidiary of Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), which was awarded a 20-year license allowing for the generation and sale of electricity in the West Nile region in April 2003.

HydroWorld.com reported that work on the US$8.5 million project and an accompanying 1-km-long, 33-kV transmission line had begun in August 2006. The transmission line will connect to Nebbi, Arua and Koboko.

The Paidha hydropower facility includes two turbines that were provided by Czech manufacturer Mavel a.s. via a subcontract from developer Skodaexport a.s.

WENRECo says Paidha is the first hydro project in Africa to qualify for carbon financing under the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund. The project also applied for certification under the United Nation's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in January 2007.

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