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$1.6bn Uganda Karuma hydro power completed by 70 percent

By Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – Uganda’s biggest hydro power construction project is now 70 percent done, the Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation Ltd that is undertaking the project said.

The company’s vice president Wang Yantao said the 600MW project will be completed soon to bridge electricity shortage in the country.

Only 20 percent of Ugandans are connected to the national grid and with the completion of Karuma dam, accessibility increase to 40 percent.

State for Energy, Mr Simon D’Ujanga, who was visiting the construction project on Tuesday, said the project employs over 50,000 Ugandans.

The Karuma Hydro-power project (KHPP) located in Kiryandongo District is a run-of-the-river (ROR) scheme located on the Kyoga Nile stretch between Lake Kyoga and Murchison Falls, about 2.5km upstream of Karuma Bridge.

The scheme will utilise a gross head of 70.0m and design discharge of 1,098 cumecs to generate on average 4,073 MU of energy per year.

The government says the project will boost industrial sector.The project, which commenced on December 16, 2013, is due for commissioning in December 2018.

The Minister said three main power lines are planned to come from Karuma power dam after its completion. One line will leave Karuma and go to Kawanda, to the north of Kampala. This particular line will interconnect with the lines which already exist.

The other line is going to leave Karuma and go to Olwio, about 56km from Karuma.  A big substation is planned to be established at Olwio from where Pakwach, Nebbi and Arua will be supplied.

Mr D’Ujanga confirmed that another power line will be built from Olwio through Nimule into Juba.

“We have secured US$100 million to construct that line into the West Nile region.  From there we also need to connect the other East African countries because the countries of East African have agreed to have interconnection in order to improve reliability of power supply,” he added.

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