VALUATION OF A HYDRO-ELECTRIC POWER
PROJECT IN EMERGING MARKETS: AN APPLICATION
OF REAL OPTIONS

 

Richard Ebil Ottoo
Pace University, Lubin School of Business

 

ABSTRACT

We apply a contingent-claims technique and demonstrate how to value an emerging market hydro electric power investment under uncertainty. The investment project depends on reliable weather conditions and the capacity of a river to drive the water turbines. Uganda’s Bujagali dam project located at the source of the Nile River is the focus of our study. We identify four mutuallyexclusive real options and incorporate the correlation of returns on rainfall and cash flows as well as a premium for lack of transparency in the estimation of project risk. We document a leverage effect and a volatility effect on project value.