(Adds power deficit in fourth paragraph.)
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda’s 250-megawatt Bujagali hydropower project started supplying electricity to the national grid and may reach 50 megawatts later today, Energy Minister Irene Muloni said.
Supply to the grid in the East African nation will rise as the commissioning of all the plant’s capacity is expected in July, Muloni said by phone from the capital, Kampala.
“They started testing the plant last week and supply reached 37.5 megawatts this morning and may reach 50 megawatts by the end of the day,” she said.
Uganda, East Africa’s third-biggest economy, has regular nationwide outages amid a power deficit, with production at 375 megawatts and consumption at 450 megawatts by the end of last year, President Yoweri Museveni said on Dec. 31.
The country will end electricity subsidies, which have cost the nation 1.53 trillion shillings ($658 million) since 2005, when Bujagali reaches full capacity, Muloni said Jan. 12.
Uganda will use the savings to finance public infrastructure projects, including the construction of the 600 megawatt Karuma Hydropower Project, whose construction starts in May, she said at the time.
The plant is jointly owned by Sithe Global Power LLC and Industrial Promotion Services Kenya Ltd., an affiliate of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development SA through Bujagali Energy Ltd.
Construction of the five-turbine plant started in mid-2007 and was expected to cost $873 million, Bujagali Energy said in January 2008.
--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Tony Barrett
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