Blackstone exits Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda

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The Blackstone Group has exited its stake in Bujagali Energy (BEL), the developer of the 250-megawatt Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda, to a Norwegian hydropower developer SN Power.

The roughly two-thirds stake in the project has been acquired for around $277m.

Blackstone first invested $120m in the BEL project in December 2007 through Blackstone Capital Partners IV.

Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, said: “We are very proud of the pioneering role we were able to play as an early developer and investor in Bujagali and the project’s many contributions to Uganda, from enhancing power generation to improving the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.”

The Bujagali Hydropower Project is widely considered the most successful public private partnership in the power sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and has been used as a model for subsequent projects in the region.

Bujagali, a 250 MW hydropower facility located near Jinja, Uganda will continue to be operated by BEL.

BEL’s other shareholders are affiliates of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and the Government of Uganda, both of which will retain their interests in Bujagali.

The investment by SN Power follows the project’s successful refinancing with its lenders – including development finance institutions such as the International Finance Corporation and African Development Bank – which reduced Bujagali Energy’s annual debt-servicing payments, lowering the tariff of electricity produced by the hydropower plant.

Bujagali generates almost half of Uganda’s energy supply by providing clean, reliable base load energy.

The cumulative inception-to-date savings from Bujagali are $1.9bn and the cumulative CO2 emissions reductions are approximately 5.7 million tons due to the displacement of diesel generated electricity with hydropower.

In 2043, Bujagali will be transferred to the GOU for one US dollar with an expected remaining life of 70+ years. Source: Africa Global Funds 

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