In hot water

Published: Monday 15 September 2003

Weak foundation? Uncertainty clouds the Bujagali dam project in Uganda as aes Nile Power Limited has pulled out of it. The company, a subsidiary of the us -based private power producer aes Corporation, was to build, own and operate the 200-megawatt hydropower station. It will write off about us $75 million of its investment funds in the third quarter. The project has been mired in controversy, with environmentalists resolutely protesting it and the us government probing into allegations of corruption regarding "improper" payments by promoters.

The company stresses that economic reasons are responsible for its pullout. Dale Perry, project director of Bujagali in aes Corp, blamed it on "lowered returns, balanced against increased risk."

Meanwhile, the greens, who termed the project socially and environmentally destructive, are relieved. Co-sponsor World Bank has, however, decided to go ahead with the project.

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