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Govt moves to change Karuma dam supervisor

By John Odyek

Added 2nd December 2017 07:11 PM

Njuki cited the recent Auditor General’s report which cast doubt on the competence of the supervising engineer on several quality assurance issues

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Njuki cited the recent Auditor General’s report which cast doubt on the competence of the supervising engineer on several quality assurance issues

Minister Evelyn Anite addressing the media after UEGCL annual general meeting as Njuki looks on. Photo by Ramadhan Abbey 

The Government will replace Energy Infratech PYT Ltd, the Indian-based company that has been supervising the construction of the 600mw Karuma Hydro Power Project.

Eng. Margaret Proscovia Njuki, the chairperson of the board of the Uganda Electricity Generation Company (UEGCL) during the annual general meeting of the company said the Government had decided to get a new supervisor for $1.7b (6 trillion) project following concerns about the quality of supervision of the owner’s engineer.

The meeting took place at the finance ministry boardroom in Kampala on Friday.

Njuki cited the recent Auditor General’s (AG) report for June 2017 which cast doubt on the competence of the supervising engineer on several quality assurance issues identified on site during an 18-month audit period.

The project is now at 49 months out of 60 months for the construction, with 11 months remaining to completion. Karuma Hydro Power project is a project developed by Government through a bilateral agreement with the Peoples Republic of China. China’s Sino Hydro Corporation is the main engineering procurement and construction contractor.

The Government is funding 15% of the project while 85% is funded by the Chinese government through concessionary loans from the EXIM Bank of China.

Energy Infratech’s contract for the supervision of 183mw Isimba Hydro Power Project was not renewed in September following similar concerns of quality of supervision.

UEGLC also released its audited financial statements for the 18 months ended 30th June 2017 showing improved financial and operational health.

The financial statements were released by Njuki during the seventh annual general meeting at the finance ministry.  The finance ministry supervises all the Government agencies born from the divestiture of former government parastatals.

Evelyn Anite, the state minister for privatisation said there was good progress made by UEGCL in increasing the generation capacity in Uganda.

“The power that will be generated will create jobs, industries that will take us to middle-income status. The power will be needed in the 22 industrial parks. We are working on the issues of the owner’s engineer, they will be completed,” Anite said.

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