The project which is being executed by Uganda Electricity Generation Company (UGECL) and a Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation – as contractor, was anticipated to produce 600MW of hydropower was paused due to recognized cracks in the dam section which posed threat to the project. Stakeholders partnered in finding teams of experts, both local and international to get a solution to the challenge. After several consultations, concrete works have resumed at the project site. Key inputs from the experts included reducing the temperature of the concrete during placement as well as improvement on the placement methods, which demanded the use of agitator trucks. Following that, a cooling plant has been installed on site to ensure concrete is placed at 20 degrees Celsius. Currently, the contractor, Sinohydro, has completed over 95% of the tunneling excavation and is currently concreting the tunnel.
Upon completion, the Karuma Hydro Power station shall include an underground section containing the Power House, Surge Chamber, Transformer tavern, inlet and tailrace tunnels. The USD 1.7 Billion (approximately Ugx…) is expected to be commissioned in December 2018. So far, the project is at slightly over 50% completion.
“This is a massive achievement in very difficult conditions and shows the seriousness of Sinohydro Corporation to deliver this critical project”, says Mr Deng Changyi, the Acting Project Manager.
Aside the civil and electro-mechanical component of the Karuma Hydro Power Project, Sinohydro shall – as part of its corporate Social Responsibility – construct two hospitals and two schools in the adjoining project areas of Oyam and Kiryandongo districts. “So far we have managed to secure the land for these CSR initiatives and the contractor’s team is on ground making the requisite preliminary assessments before commencement of construction,” Said Simon Kasyate, Manager- Corporate Affairs UEGCL, adding that the CSR component is part of the Project contract.
The Karuma project is one of the major infrastructure projects expected to contribute immensely to Uganda’s quest for middle income status through reliable and affordable electricity according to the government’s vision 2020.