ILF Consulting Engineers is to provide design and construction supervision consultancy services for the Muzizi hydroelectric power project in Uganda under a contract awarded in August by the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL).

The approximately 44.5MW capacity plant will be situated on the Muzizi River in Western Uganda, southeast of Lake Albert in the Kibaale District. As the Muzizi River enters the Rift Valley (Albertine Graben), it drops from about 1090 m to 600m over a distance of 3.5km, cutting its way through the Rift Valley escarpment down to Lake Albert.

The planned run-of-river development will have a low intake weir (10.5m) and a small reservoir, with a live volume of 176,000m3 to allow peaking for up to four hours per day. An approximately 3.7km long power canal along the right bank of Muzizi River will convey water from the reservoir to the surge bay. From there, a nearly 1.1km long, 1.9m diameter steel penstock will convey the water to the powerhouse located beside the Muzizi river near the village of Kyanja Hamukura, southwest of Lake Albert.

With a design flow of 12m3/sec and a gross head of 454m, the plant will produce approximately 220GWh of energy a year. The power generated from the plant will be evacuated by a 5. km long 220 kV transmission line and fed into nearby Fort Portal-Hoima national grid.

The UEGCL said it will have a full-fledged relocation action plan (RAP) to address impacts of the project. The project will also support community development and social aspects such as the employment of local labour as well as the improvement of water supply, the provision of access roads, health centres, schools, etc. and will be carried out in close collaboration with local communities. In addition, the GoU is planning a rural electrification programme concurrently with the project to help improve conditions in the project area communities.

Initially, ILF will start with a review of the existing feasibility study and optimize the design. Subsequently, the tender design and tender documents will be prepared, and the EPC contractor procured. ILF will act as the Owner’s Engineer and supervise the construction works.

To be completed in 2019, the project will be financed jointly by the German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and French Agency for Development (AFD), and will receive full support from the Government of Uganda (GoU).