About 12 months back, supervisors employed by India’s Energy Infratech Pvt Limited were accused by Uganda Engineers Registration Board of “practicing illegally in Uganda” more than three years after the two projects kicked off. Fast forward to 2017, the contract at the country’s ongoing second biggest hydro power project, Energy Infratech’s 40 months fixed term contract expires today (Thursday, September 7) without renewal.
Isimba Hydro Power Station is located between Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, 15km downstream from Kalagala falls on River Nile in the districts of Kayunga, Kamuli and Jinja.
“Government has considered not to renew the contract of EIPL,” explained Dr Badru Kiggundu, who chairs a project steering committee to oversee the successful completion of Isimba and Karuma. “This decision is informed by EIPL’s record and performance in the last 40 months,” he added about the future of the project which still has over twelve months to completion.
The hand over from Energy Infratech Pvt Limited to UEGCL will take place Thursday, September 13.
“Let me set the record straight, especially in the wake of recent press reports. EIPL has not been fired. Government has not renewed their contract, upon its expiry. The two are worlds apart.”
Government recently carried out an extensive audit that linked the embattled company to alleged fictitious reporting in their cash claims and fraudulent receipting.
In the interim, Dr. Kiggundu announced that Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited who already possessed full projects’ contract administration powers will also perform the duties of EIPL assisted by the project management consultants, SMEC international Pty Ltd of Australia until a new Owner’s Engineer is procured by close of year.
Isimba is a 183 megawatts power project worth $570million (Shs1.4trillion) under construction by China International Water & Electric Corporation. The project is financed by a loan from China’s Export-Import Bank after Parliament gave government a nod to borrow $482.5 million (about Shs1.5 trillion) from China Exim Bank at two per cent annual interest repayable over 20 years. Uganda will contribute the remaining $107 million (Shs350 billion).