The construction of the 600MegaWatt Karuma Hydro Power Project is moving according to schedule with up an estimated 70% of construction works completed with 13 months left before the deadline for the 5-year project. Karuma is a Run of River Plant
Sino Hydro Corporation Limited, the Chinese company that was contracted to construct the 600MW Karuma Hydro Power station announced recently that the project is expected to be complete by the December 2018 deadline.
Wang Yangtao, the Senior Vice President Sino Hydro Corporation told a meeting of energy stakeholders during the ground breaking of the permanent employer’s camp recently that the project is on course.
“Up to now, with the support of stakeholders, around 70% of work has been completed and the project is well controlled with quality and budget and time,” said Yangtao.
The 1.7 Billion US Dollars project is part-funded with a soft loan from the Chinese-government owned China Export and Import Bank, (Exim) (85%) while government of Uganda is contributing 15%. The loan has a repayment period of 30 years.
According to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), the implementing and supervising agency together with the Ministry of Energy, most of the civil works are complete at the plant.
Progress of work at the dam and the associated work slowed during the 2017 second quarter partly due to reports of cracks at the Stilling Basin. This necessitated investigation.
Simon Kasyate, the Manager Corporate Affairs UEGCL, says the cracks at the Stilling Basin are still being Monitored as recommendations offered by Chinese Panel of Experts in April this year are being implemented.
“The problem was with the type of Cement being used and how the concrete was mixed. But all that has been changed and the cracks have been rectified. We are building a power plant that will supply this country for the next 100 years and quality is one thing we are very kin on right now,” said Kasyate.
The Minister of State for Energy, Simon D’ujanga says government of Uganda requires more robust assurance that the project will be completed on budget and in time.
“When we are on the ground here, we don’t seem to see much but a lot of work has been done underground. The country will require more robust assurances that the KHPP timeline shall be achieved and a quality shall be delivered to Ugandans” says N’Dujangu.
He adds that Uganda expects the project to be complete by December, 2018 and distribution to not only Ugandans but also other countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Sudan in terms of export.
Major works at the power house have been completed including installation of the draft tubes and associated concrete works. Concrete lining of all pressure shafts 1,2,4,5 and 6 are also complete as works on the Head Race and Tail Race Tunnels continue.
Meanwhile UEGCL urges that the Contractor Sino Hydro should pays attention to Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract’s (EPCC) issues like inspection, and certification of the lifting gear on site, provision of safe drinking water, training and certification of crane operators, riggers and banks men and defensive driving training for project drivers.
Over 6,000 workers are employed by the Karuma Hydro Power Project. In order to meet the deadline, the constructor ensures that the employers work 24/7 in shifts.