Acquisition of small-scale run-of-the-river plants Mpanga and Nyamwamba I

rAREH acquires two hydropower plants in Uganda

July 20193 min read

Nairobi, Zurich 26 July 2019 — responsAbility Renewable Energy Holding (rAREH), the Nairobi-based renewable energy company focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, has acquired two operational small-scale hydropower plants with a total capacity of 27.2 MW. Both plants are located in Western Uganda and use the run-of-the-river technology which guarantees minimal disruption to the ecosystem. Together, the plants supply over half a million people with clean energy in one of Africa’s most energy-starved regions.

rAREH has acquired 100% of the share capital from the plants’ developer and previous owner, South Asia Energy Management Systems LLC (SAEMS). Located in the Kamwenge District, the 18 MW hydropower plant on the Mpanga river has been operational since 2011, while the 9.2 MW Nyamwamba I hydropower plant in the Kasese District took up operations in 2018. Both plants have been operated by Wollstra Engineering Limited with an experienced Sri Lankan and Ugandan team. 

Together, the plants feed the national grid, supplying over 550,000 people living in 118,000 households with clean, renewable energy and supporting sustainable economic development in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7

The partners have also announced their plans to co-develop an additional small-scale hydropower plant in the same area. Located further upstream on the Nyamwamba river, construction on the 7.8 MW Nyamwamba II project is planned to start later this year and will be accompanied by a series of projects designed to protect important water catchments for socio-economic development.

Managing Director Joseph Nganga said: “In addition to adding two operational environmentally friendly run-of-the-river hydropower plants to our existing portfolio, this transaction further establishes rAREH not only as a developer, but also as an owner of operator of renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Earlier this month, rAREH announced the purchase of a participation in South Africa-based Renewable Energy Holding, with three operational power plants and another plant under development. With the addition of the Mpanga and Nyamwamba hydropower plants, rAREH’s portfolio now includes five operational plants with a total capacity of 41 MW and 12 projects accounting for 265 MW under development.

rAREH is a renewable energy company focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. Headquartered in Nairobi, the company finances, develops, owns and operates renewable energy projects of up to 50 MW across the various stages of development. The rAREH portfolio currently includes six operational solar and hydro power plants which account for 41 MW. The team of 25 experienced investment professionals, developers, engineers and E&S specialists is furthermore constructing two more plants and developing a 265 MW pipeline. 

rAREH was established in 2013 via the support of two German Ministries – the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) - both investing via the German Development Bank (KfW). The investor base today includes the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, Norfund and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF). rAREH is managed by Swiss impact asset manager responsAbility Investments.

A leading asset manager for impact investments in emerging economies, responsAbility manages USD 3 billion of assets through a range of investment vehicles that provide private debt and private equity to some 540 companies with inclusive business models across 90 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, and has local offices in Bangkok, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris.


Stephanie Bilo
responsAbility Investments
+41 44 403 0553

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