The construction of Uganda’s Karuma Hydro Power Plant is nearing completion according to Deng Changyi, the project manager. Mr. Changyi said that most of the physical and installation works are finished and that only 2 percent of the entire work is now remaining. This includes works such as painting, cleaning up in the tunnels, and building roads on the surface.
The project manager said that Sinohydro Corporation Ltd., the construction contractor has already applied for the approval of the wet commissioning of turbine 1-3. He also revealed that the dry testing of turbine 4-6, each of which is designed to produce 100MW is ongoing.
Construction of power evacuation lines
Sinohydro is also in charge of the implementation of the Karuma Interconnection Project, which will facilitate the evacuation of power from the plant via three transmission lines.
The overall work on the project according to Sinohydro’s progress report has reached 94.5 percent completion. Most of the tower erection and stringing works have been done, except for a few places where there has been a challenge of accessing the right of way.
The contractor stated that the Government of Uganda is responsible for the acquisition of the land and handing it over for the construction works to continue.
A brief about the Karuma Hydro Power Plant
The 600 MW hydroelectric power station is located at Karuma Falls on the Victoria Nile, in the Midwestern Ugandan district of Kiryandongo. It is constructed both on the surface and underground, where the electrical-mechanical installations are located (approximately 100 meters). It has 26.5 kilometers of underground access roads, making it, the 14th largest underground power station in the world.
Upon completion, the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) of China and the Ugandan government-financed project will address the country’s increasing electricity demand and fast track industrialization. According to economists, the inadequate power supply is one of the key bottlenecks to fast-tracking the East African country’s economic development.