Uganda’s Karuma Power Project nears its completion

Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, the Chinese firm undertaking the construction of the 600MV Karuma power dam in Kiryandongo District, has revealed that the project is 70% complete in accordance with the budget and time frame. The project which commenced on December 16, 2013 is due for commissioning in December 2018.

The company’s vice president, Mr Wang Yantao, said that the hydropower is economical, environmentally friendly and will provide sustainable energy. “The Chinese government always supports and encourages Chinese enterprises and national institutions to construct hydro power projects to benefit the people,” he further added.

He revealed that the project now employs more than 5,000 workers including Uganda and Chinese nationals.

However, the LC1 chairman for Karuma, Mr Severino Opio, said residents are unhappy with the government since there is a lot of neglect. “The project is almost coming to and nothing is being done for the community,” he said.

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The Oyam District chairperson, Mr Nelson Adea Akar, said it would be fair for the constructor to employ residents. This is one way of making the community own the project.

The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) chief executive officer, Eng Dr Harrison Mutikanga, explained that they had so many activities planned and their priority was to concentrate on the hydro power project.

Significant progress

The hydro power project has progressed significantly. “At the moment, we are now embarking on the second stage; this is the employers’ facilities. It will then be followed by the community development action plan,” Dr Mutikanga added.

He further added that, for Uganda to shift to largely urban society, it must be propelled by electricity as a form of modern energy.

The 600MW Karuma Hydro Power project is one the big hydro power projects under construction. Once complete it will provide reliable and affordable electricity to the people

Karuma power dam is being financed by both the government of Uganda and Exim Bank of China. The government of Uganda is contributing 15% while China is financing the other 85% component.

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