“Just 12 months from signing the debt finance agreement, the plant is fully productive and contributing to Uganda’s economic development,” says EAIF Chairman, David White.
The Tororo Solar North 10MW plant in eastern Uganda was formally opened at an inauguration ceremony today (16 October). Exactly a year ago, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) provided half of a US$14.7 million loan (in a syndicate led by FMO) to facilitate the project’s construction, which has a total capital development value of US$19.6 million.
Guest of Honour at the event was The Hon Peter Teko Lokeris, Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development, who attended on behalf of the Government of Uganda.
EAIF is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group and is funded by the governments of the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, and The Netherlands, by the German development finance institution KFW and its Dutch equivalent FMO, and private sector banks.
While increasing Uganda’s stock of installed electricity generating infrastructure, the Tororo facility’s output will also lower the average cost of electricity in the country.
Developed by the Italian company, Building Energy, which is also the plant’s operator, the Tororo project provided some 300 local jobs during its construction. People from the area will have permanent jobs in plant maintenance. In addition to investing in the power plant, Building Energy has launched a range of community development initiatives. The plant, which is 230km east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, will serve an area heavily dependent on subsistence farming and with high unemployment.
Chairman of EAIF, David White, attended the inauguration on behalf of EAIF and the Private Infrastructure Development Group. He says,
“Just 12 months from signing the debt finance agreement, the plant is fully productive and contributing to Uganda’s economic development. Congratulations are due to Building Energy, to EAIF’s fund managers, Investec Asset Management, and to our friends and colleagues at the Dutch development bank, FMO. The combination of a focused Ugandan government, skilled developers, and development finance institutions with deep experience of Africa and renewable energy projects shows that the infrastructure foundations for economic progress can be now be laid faster than at any time in history.”