This run-of-river hydropower plant is located in Bukwo District in Eastern Uganda and commenced construction in August 2016. The Project has the largest installed capacity of the GET FiT projects and is the downstream part of the cascade with the already commissioned Siti 1 SHP, one of only two cascades in the portfolio.
The Project experienced a set-back during the year as a result of a landslide on the steep escarpment above the penstock. The penstock construction access road was blocked by the landslide and required planning and careful efforts to safely clear the loose boulders and other material and to secure safe working conditions for the remaining penstock installation works. Concerns were raised with respect to the longer-term stability of the escarpment and the robustness and resilience of key project structures against further landslides. Consequently, further design reviews were undertaken and important changes implemented, which also lead to further delays.
In the long term, power will be evacuated via a new 132 kV transmission line being planned between Mbale and Bulambuli, which is not expected to be completed before 2021. In the interim, a 140 km long 33 kV line is planned, although construction of this interim solution had not commenced by the end of 2018. With the remaining construction works expected to be completed during the first half of 2019, even the interim solution had become a critical activity for power evacuation and a deemed energy situation is likely.
For the purpose of commissioning the plant, the Developer planned to construct a 4.7 km 33 kV line to connect the Siti 2 powerhouse with the powerhouse of the upstream Siti 1 hydropower project (also implemented by the Developer and supported by GET FiT, and already commissioned). Completion of the interconnecting line is expected by the end of January 2019, with commissioning planned during Q2.