The launch of the Karuma hydroelectric dam has again been delayed
The launch of the 600 MW Karuma hydroelectric dam has again been delayed.
The Ugandan Electricity Generation Company (UEGCL) has announced that it will now commission the hydroelectric dam in June of next year.
The dam, which was built by Sino-hydro Corporation, and whose commissioning has been extended more than twice, is expected to be launched on June 22, 2022.
The delayed launch of the hydroelectric dam had previously sparked friction between builders and the government, which is paying 15% of the $ 1.7 billion (6 trillion shillings), the rest of the cash coming from Exim Bank via a loan on terms. advantageous from the Chinese government.
The first completion date was set for December 31, 2019, but was extended until November 30, 2020.
The latest launch date was announced Thursday by board chairwoman Ms. Proscovia Margret Njuki after a visit to the dam.
“The contractor rectified most of the faults that had been identified and we are now happy with the cabling system and cables they installed,” Ms. Njuki said.
Over the years, UEGCL has blamed the persistent delays in commissioning the Karuma dam on procurement obstacles, government delays in ceding land for the project and hostile weather conditions, including including torrential rains, which slowed down some of the construction work.
Recently, UEGCL attributed the new delays to discrepancies in electromechanical installations such as electric cables, the cabling system in tunnels and the fire extinguishing system which they claim are now being repaired. .
“These were very minor problems, but you have to put pressure on these guys all the time to see that they are delivering quality work,” said Mr Harrison Mutikanga, UEGCL Director General.
LILY: What again led to the extension of the Karuma dam?
In the recent Auditor General’s report, it was noted that Karuma was one of the projects that had been affected by the challenges of land compensation, which in the process impacted the implementation of the project. .
The Karuma dam transmission lines, the General Audit pointed out, also created land compensation issues, which, in addition to delays in dam construction, affected the dam’s commissioning.
Although they are certain of the commissioning of Karuma, Mr. Mukitanga was not certain of the timetable they will follow to test the dam.
“We will talk to the contractor and then we will establish a timeline for it, but we think we can do it this year,” Mukitanga said.
Once commissioned, Karuma is expected to contribute to Uganda’s 2023 target of having an installed power capacity of 1,300 MW.
But construction of the hydroelectric dam has been far from smooth, with President Museveni ordering Energy Minister Irene Muloni to suspend three government engineers to pave the way for an investigation into poor-quality work in the area. construction of the Karuma and Isimba dams.
Cracks were also reported on the walls of the weir of the dam, but this would have been corrected.