…Ugandan civil society in uproar as project cost moves from US$500M to US$800M
As investigations continue into the development of the Hydro Electric Project in Guyana it has become clear that the company which is slated as the “project sponsor” and “equity partner” has never completed a Hydro Electric Project anywhere in the world.
This fact is clearly illustrated on the company’s website www.sitheglobal/projects.cfm where the only project listed as completed and operational is a natural gas fuelled combined cycle generating station in operation in Brampton, Ontario called the Goreway Station and has a capacity of 875 MW (nominal net output).
Sithe Global has two projects under construction, namely the controversial Bujagali Hydroelectric in Uganda, and the Mariveles Station which is a 600 MW station on the Bataan Peninsula, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.
The Mariveles project, according to the company “will consist of two identical 300 MW power blocks using proven Pulverized Coal Combustion technology.”
Apart from the Amaila Falls Hydroelectric Project the company has several projects as, “In Development” and notably none of them are Hydroelectric Projects.
The projects listed include: Desert Rock Energy Project, Live Oaks Project, Meerwind Project,
SG Sustainable Oils, Southdown Station Project, Teramo Project and the Toquop Project.
The Desert Rock Energy Project is a proposed 1,500 MW mine mouth coal-fired electric power plant located southwest of Farmington, San Juan County, New Mexico.
The Live Oaks project is a 600 MW (nominal net output) natural gas fuelled combined cycle generating station proposed for a “greenfield” site in southeast Georgia’s Glynn County. Development of the facility was initiated by a local developer in early 2001.
The Meerwind offshore wind farm is a 400 MW project located in the German Bight in the North Sea 23 km north of the island of Helgoland.
SG Sustainable Oils (SGSO) is establishing a commercial grade oil palm business consisting of nucleus farms, the most technologically advanced oil extraction facilities, out-growers and related infrastructures within several African countries.
Southdown Station is an 800 MW (nominal net output) natural gas fuelled combined cycle generating station proposed for a “greenfield” site in Mississauga, Ontario, west of Toronto, Ontario.
The Sithe Global Italia (“SGI”) project is a 1000 MW combined cycle, natural gas fuelled power plant located in the city of Teramo in the region of Abruzzo, Italy.
The Toquop Project is a natural gas plant at the Toquop site near Mesquite in Nevada USA.
Scrutiny of the only Hydro Electric Project that the company which was formed in 2004, namely the Bujagali Project has revealed that it is a nightmare for Uganda.
According to the Bank Information Centre, “A Ugandan government document projects that the 250 MW Bujagali hydroelectric power station under construction on the Nile River in Uganda will in fact raise power costs despite claims by the project sponsor, Bujagali Energy Limited (BEL), that power tariffs would decrease once Bujagali becomes operational….With a price tag of $860 million and climbing on news that unforeseen engineering challenges will further delay the project, Bujagali is now among the most expensive hydropower plants in the world.”
The project had been originally slated to cost some US$530M.
There are reports that there has been protest over the dam as well as complaints that the project was not subjected to competitive bidding, and that locals will anyway not be able to afford the electricity it produces.
International groups who have been lobbying for a full and fair review of Uganda’s energy options point out that Bujagali is unlikely to meet the needs of the 95 per cent of Ugandans who live far from the national grid and have never benefited from modern energy services.
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