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New York-based investment and advisory firm, Blackstone Group LP, has commissioned the Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Station in Uganda
The occasion, which marked the culmination of a project that began more than two decades ago, was marked by an opening ceremony attended by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the Aga Khan and leaders from neighbouring countries.
In 2005, Blackstone and portfolio company Sithe Global Power entered into a partnership that brought together the public and private sectors to work on the project, said a Blackstone statement.
It added, “Blackstone, through Sithe Global, served as the lead investor, committing US$116mn of equity to the US$900mn project. The investment was accompanied by US$20mn in capital from the government of Uganda and US$63mn from Industrial Promotion Services, the investment arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.”
Financing was provided by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and others.
The Blackstone Group has also revealed that it has plans to invest another US$3bn in more African energy projects
The firm said that this decision was based on the growing demand for power in the continent.
Senior managing director of New York-based Blackstone David Foley said in an interview in Kampala that the company was planning to invest in the 360MW to 480MW Ruhudji hydropower plant in southern Tanzania through Sithe Global Power.
He added thatthe group would also invest in Rwanda’s 150MW Ruzizi hydro project that will supply power to neighbouring Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“As the demand for power increases in Africa, Blackstone, together with Sithe, is planning to invest in a number of projects,” said Foley. “The projects are in the early stage negotiation and development phase. Blackstone will invest in hydropower and geothermal projects.”
Blackstone has declined to comment on project costs.