By Ibrahim Kasita
The construction of the $1.3b Karuma hydropower project on the River Nile is on track, according to the permanent secretary ministry of energy and mineral development.
Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa said the contractor, Sinohydro Corporation, has finished construction of staff and office camp facilities, access roads to the project site, the diversion channel.
Formation of drilling wells
Formation of surface leveling and clearing of Adit
“You cannot say that there is no work done. This is a lot of work which requires money,” he said. “This progress has been achieved before the financing arrangement has been completed.”
According to the financial arrangement of the project, Uganda is to fund 15% of the project costs and the rest will come from the EXIM Bank of China concessionary loans to be accessed soon.
Formation of the open earth excavation of the diversion channel
“The open earth excavation and open rock excavation has been started in the diversion channel,” reads the report.
“Because of the flood season, we have taken available measures to protect construction to run smoothly. And the measures which can ensure the healthy and environment are ongoing, too.”
Formation of R7 which is from highway to TRT outlet
Formation of the temporary aggregate system on the right bank
Jack Deng, the Sinohydro Uganda branch chief representative, said works is on track. “We are committed to hand over the entire project to government of Uganda by 2018 as planned,” he said.
“This project will significantly enhance Uganda’s power supply and without doubt lower the cost of tariffs for both industrial users and domestic users. The project will be put into commissioning in 60 month.”
Formation of the portal section at EVT
The May progress report indicates that there are 531 personnel directly. Out these figure, there are 345 Ugandans and the rest are Chinese expatriates.
However, Deng explained that the project will directly employ 5,000 Ugandans at the peak.
Outside view of the construction of diversion tunnel
“There will be other jobs created by our suppliers who will be contracted to offer different services and goods,” he said.
The kind of workers expected, Deng outlined, are welders, joineries, carpenters, porters, project accountants, electrical and mechanical engineers, cooks, cleaners and masons.
Inside view of the construction of diversion tunnel
Karuma power project also covers the associated transmission lines to evacuate the generated electricity from the power plant to the national grid.
One transmission line will run from Karuma to Kawanda substatation, about 260km away, with a voltage of 400kV. Another one will run from Karuma to Olwiyo in Nwoya district, about 40km away also with 400 kV.
The third line will run from Karuma to Lira substation.