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Industry News

World Bank Discusses Ugandan Hydroelectric Dam

LCG, June 5, 2002--The World Bank is considering giving a $250 million guarantee to AES Nile Power for the $550 million Bujagali Hydro Project, a 200 MW hydropower endeavor.

AES Nile Power intends to build the Bujagali Dam without financial assistance from the struggling Ugandan government.

U.S and Ugandan environmentalists assert that important information has been left out of the discussion of the project. While the building of the dam will not be paid for by Ugandans, the Power Purchase Agreement, which includes some $100 million in government payments to AES Nile annually, has not been given up for public debate in Uganda.

Additionally a confidential World Bank document is alleged to refer falsely to the dam as the cheapest source of power for Uganda, while the International Rivers Network asserts that the project is not economically viable for debt-ridden Uganda and that cheaper alternatives, such as geothermal, should also be discussed.

The World Bank's investigative body has given a report to the bank's executive board, outlining violations of internal policies regarding the Bujagali project.

According to AES Nile Power, approximately 3 percent of Ugandans have electricity, as opposed to 13 percent of those in Ghana.

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