Karuma Dam Might Never Be Perfect
Because of the numerous structural defects which contractors have failed or refused to correct, karma Power dam might never operate at full capacity after its commissioned.
This damning verdict was by officials of the Uganda Electricity Genration COmpany Limited who have been supervising the construction of the dam on the River Nile.
Harrison Mutikanga the CEO UEGCL issued the warning while touring the mega million project that is expected to generate 600MW of electricity.
Mutikanga said the concrete was poorly laid and the draft tube poorly aligned and that this will eventually lead to under performance of the dam.
“They cast concrete badly, when you do that, the diameter expands. That means you will have losses, by losing a few millimeters, there is a very big amount in terms of head-losses. Because this was aligned a little bit poorly, we are losing a lot of head and then it will definitely affect the energy output.” Mutikanga was explaining to Proscovia Njuki, the UEGCL board chairperson, during a tour of construction site. The other week Njuki had toured Isimba dam where she warned the contractor to improve the quality of work being done.
Wang Yanto, the executive vice president at Sinohydro, who are constructing the dam at USD2.2bn admitted that aching perfect alignment with concrete is ‘ very difficult to control.’
UEGCL blames the contractor of having few technical staff on site. UEGCL board members were angry with the contractor and accused him of being behind schedule and working like there is no end in sight.
Gilbert Kimanzi one of the board members warned the contractor to stop ignoring government:
“Should we terminate the contract for you to listen to us? Should we start the process of terminating the contract? If you have challenges, please tell us and we discuss and solve them. But you cannot just ignore us, where are we on this contract? Can we say we are still on schedule? We have been asking you, please submit your revised project implementation schedule [but] we don’t have it.’
Karuma is supposed to be commissioned in December of 2018 but Yanto, of Sinohydro, the contractor told UEGCL board members: “We think we are about three months behind schedule.’