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Business News of Friday, 21 December 2012

Source: GNA

Bui dam to generate power in June 2013 – Amissah-Arthur

The construction of the Bui Hydroelectric Dam is nearing completion with the first power supply expected to happen in June 2013.

Currently the 400 megawatts hydro power project is about 80 per cent complete and in the final stages of construction with various components of the project steadily progressing.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Bui Power Authority (BPA) executers and managers of the project anticipates producing 500 gigawatts of energy to augment national energy supply next year.

Mr Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, Chief Executive Officer of BPA disclosed this when conducting newsmen round the dam site at Bui in the newly created Banda District of Brong-Ahafo Region.

He explained that the project experienced a funding shortfall of 168.4 million dollars arising primarily from the unanticipated effects of global upheavals as well as unforeseen essential works.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said Parliament had approved the additional funding and the Authority was waiting for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to effect payment for the completion of the project.

He said civil works at the main dam were about 99 per cent complete while the impoundment of the dam which commenced in June 2011 was on course with the water level standing at 169.61 metres above sea level.

“Now the central focus of activities at the main dam includes completion of the spillway works which is about 82 per cent complete,” Mr Amissah-Arthur added.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said the power house overhead bridge crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 360 tonnes was installed and successfully tested in May this year adding that the crane was being used for the erection of the generating units.

He said the overall progress of the transmission lines stood at 62 per cent complete explaining that four transmission lines were being constructed to aid in the evacuation of power from the Bui generating plant to the national grid.

“These four lines will send power produced from the plant to the four GRIDCo substations in Sawla, Techiman, Kintampo and Sunyani for distribution to consumers.”

The development of the Bui Hydroelectric Power Project on the Black Volta at the Bui Gorge had been the subject of many studies, namely detailed studies by J.S. Zhuk Hydro Project of USSR in 1966, a feasibility study by Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) of Austria in 1976 and another feasibility study by Coyne et Bollier of France in 1995.

It was designed primarily for hydro power generation and includes the development of an irrigation scheme for agricultural development and presents an opportunity for enhanced eco-tourism and fisheries.

The project also includes a resettlement and community support programme.

Main construction of the project which was expected to cost about 622 million dollars started in 2007, with a concessional loan of 263.5 million dollars from the Chinese Government and a buyer’s credit of 298.5 million dollars from the EXIM Bank in addition to government’s contribution of 60 million dollars.

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