Isimba hydroelectric scheme on the White Nile

Completion of a high-power scheme that will significantly boost Uganda’s electricity production

The Isimba hydroelectric scheme is located on the White Nile, approximately 50 km downstream of its source. It comprises a 1,500 m-long dam, a spillway, a hydroelectric power station and various auxiliary structures for converting and transmitting electricity.

Following the default of the previous provider, Artelia has been appointed to review the design and supervise the works until the facilities are commissioned in January 2019.


As one of the countries with the lowest rate of access to electricity, Uganda has been developing its production capacity for several years, relying mainly on hydroelectricity. In 2013, the Isimba hydroelectric scheme was launched. Its substantial rated capacity (183 MW) should enable the country’s electricity production to increase significantly (>20%). CWE, the Chinese company responsible for the project, awarded the contract to an Indian consultancy firm, which failed to meet its commitments. In 2018, it asked Artelia to carry out the project and bring it to a successful completion.

Having already been asked to carry out this type of work on several occasions (Bagatelle dam in Mauritius, Kébir dam in Tunisia, etc.), our teams took over the complete management of the project, with the construction already well in progress. At the core of the project was a 1,500 m long rockfill dam with a clay core, a diaphragm wall and injections. The structure was also intended to serve as a bridge, allowing the transit of lorries, to link the districts of Kayunga and Kamuli. Artelia carried out the dam project, the construction of the hydroelectric power station (equipped with four 45.8 MW Kaplan units) and the electrical infrastructure (41 km of lines). The hydropower scheme was commissioned in January 2019.