In Uganda, Norwegian electricity solutions firm SN Power has maintained that its buying out of Sithe Global’s stake in the Bujagali hydropower will not change power costs.
[quote]Local media, the Observer reported that President Yoweri Museveni has in previous years complained about the expensive cost incurred from the Bujagali hydropower due to the plant being operated by private investors.
However, Sithe’s Global president Brian Kubeck, said: “this is just a change in ownership and may not impact on the cost of Bujagali power… Government has where it wants power costs to be, but investors also look at the costs incurred.”
According to the media, the US-based company Sithe Global has owned interests in the Bujagali hydropower project for eleven years now, charging $10.1 cents/kWh for its generated electricity.
SN Power – targeting greener pastures
In June 2015, President Museveni said that government was going to use money from the oil industry to buy Sithe Global out in bids to cut the cost of power, because according to him the company was partly responsible for high prices of electricity in the country.
Commenting on the development, Torger Lien, the CEO of SN Power, did not mention anything about reducing power costs, but instead stated that this investment is a stepping stone for the company into the sub-Saharan region: “We look to more hydro-power investment opportunities in the sub-Saharan Africa.”
SN Power, owned by Statkraft, the Norwegian state-owned power firm, and Norfund, a Norwegian development financial institution, will operate alongside the Aga Khan fund for economic development.
Bujagali came into operation in 2012, the complete project having cost around $900 million. It is reported that the hydropower plant added 250MW to the grid, easing extensive power blackouts that had affected the country.