Karuma Power Project Works 75 percent Complete
By Denis Otim
The construction of Karuma Hydroelectric Power Station is 75 percent complete, Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) Corporate Affairs Manager Simon Kasyate has revealed.
“We are at 75 percent general progress; this is tremendous progress considering the volume of work. We are left with screwing together all the parts of the turbines to ensure that it starts working, we are certain that the project will be delivered on time,” Kasyate said.
Kasyate revealed that key installations in the surge chamber, the transformer cavern, switch yard and the power house are going on smoothly, indicating a progress on the civil, hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical works.
Installation of nine radial gates at the dam section also began in January this year. The radial gates main function is to control orifice flow, undertake blocking main water, and can be opened and closed during flood conditions to prevent over topping of the dam.
Kasyate said they expect to switch on Power by the end of 2018 from the power station.
Challenges being Addressed
Kasyate said the owners engineers Energy Infratech PVT Ltd Contractor has deployed more resources to address concerns that were raised on quality control issues by UEGCL officials last year which were likely to affect the project.
Construction works at the Dam slowed down in 2016 partly due to cracks that were discovered at the spill way section of the dam.
Kasyate also stated that they are still facing challenges of compensating people whose land the transmission lines will pass.
Electricity from the power plant is expected to be evacuated through Karuma -Kawanda (305 kms), Karuma-Olwiyo (60kms) and Karuma –Lira (80kms).
UEGCL Chief Executive officer, Harrison Mutikanga, in December last year said unresolved land issues on the Karuma interconnection project is likely to delay the commissioning of the 600 MW Karuma Hydro power plant.
At least 339 people affected on the transmission route are disagreeing over compensation on their land claiming, that the values given by the government chief valuer is low.
Uganda Electricity transmission Company Ltd, the firm undertaking the interconnection project said out of the 4,135 people affected by the interconnection project, a total 2,791 have so far been compensated Shs 30 billion of the Shs 56 billion meant to compensate all the affected land owners.
Upon completion, the Karuma Power project being is expected to generate 600 MW of electricity.
Construction of the US$ 1.7 billion (about Shs 6trillion) power project, one of Uganda’s largest hydro power stations commenced in August 2013, and is being undertaken by Chinese Firm, Sinohydro Corporation, under the supervision of UEGCL with funding from the by Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of China.