The World Bank Group has urged other multilateral development banks to suspend dealing with China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), the company that is expected to build Uganda’s Isimba Hydro Power Project.
World Bank, through a September 24 press statement, said CWE had in the past engaged in “sanctionable practices” in a hydropower project in Africa.
Though it did not mention when and where in Africa that happened, CWE had in 2010 bid for the construction of the $1.69 billion (Shs4.480 trillion) Karuma HPP in Uganda.
CWE lost the contract after Uganda’s Inspectorate of Government investigated the procurement and, among other findings, found that it had falsified information about its ability to construct large hydropower projects.
However, Mr Matovu Bukenya, the head of communications at the Energy ministry, said the World Bank Group’s suggestion would not affect the construction of Isimba HPP.
“Not at all, this project is not a World Bank–financed project,” Mr Matovu told Daily Monitor last Saturday, during a telephone interview.
The Export–Import (EXIM) Bank of China will lend Uganda a concessional $485.2 million (Shs1.286 trillion) to fund the construction of the 183–megawatt Isimba HPP.
According to Uganda’s Finance ministry, negotiations between Uganda and the China EXIM Bank to unlock the funds “are at advanced stages”.
Isimba is one of the two – the other being Karuma – large hydroelectricity projects that, once the government commissions them in 2018, could result into lower end–user electricity tariffs.
The estimated number of jobs that will be created during Isimba dam construction.