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Business News of Friday, 28 February 2020

Source: GNA

Parliament approves $993m for Pwalugu Dam project

Parliament of Ghana Parliament of Ghana

Parliament has endorsed a contract agreement covering over US$ 993 million between the Government of Ghana and Powerchina International Group Limited for the construction of a multipurpose dam project at Pwalugu, in the Upper East Region.

The Ministry of Energy is representing the Government of Ghana in the EPC/Tumkey Contract for an amount of US$366.911 million for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a 50MW Hydro-Power Plant; another EPC of a SOMWac Solar Power Plant in Pwalugu; and EPC/Turnkey contract agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture) and Powerchina International Group Limited for an amount US$474.042 million for EPC of a 24,000-hectare Irrigation Scheme.

The triad project would contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through an improved, efficient and cost-effective irrigated year-long agricultural production and hydropower generation.

According to a Finance Committee Report of Parliament, the main purpose of building the Pwalugu Dam “is to store water for hydropower, the irrigation scheme downstream, and flood protection for people living in the White Volta Basin.”

Hydro-power plays a strategic role in ensuring that revenue from the sale of electricity went into maintaining the dam to guarantee the longevity of the dam.

The Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Agriculture, through the Volta River Authority (VRA), and the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) respectively, have completed preparatory works for the implementation of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam & Irrigation Project.

The Government of Ghana has promised to encourage the implementation of grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy technologies as a way to reduce the environmental impact of power supply, promote socio-economic development and to contribute towards meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change.

Through the leadership programme of Planting for Food and jobs, Government intends to make Ghana self-sufficient in food production, and the Pwalugu irrigation scheme is meant to support that initiative by transforming food production in one of Ghana’s most fertile regions.

The agreement has been delayed since the last meeting of Parliament as the Minority National Democratic Congress ( NDC) Caucus raised issues with Government citing inflated cost of project, and lack of due diligence.

Mr Samuel Gyamfi, Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee, in presenting the report stated the concerns of the minority were addressed.

The construction of the $993 million Pwalugu Multi-purpose dam project in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region is expected to commence by end of April 2020.

The entire project will be executed by a Chinese construction firm, Power China International and supervised by the Volta River Authority over a period of five years.

While the 50MW solar power electricity will be sited at Kurugu in the East Mamprusi Municipal in the North East Region, the 60MW hydro power will be sited at Nungu in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.