28 May 2019

Sinohydro Corporation Ltd, the Chinese firm undertaking the construction of
the 600MV Karuma power dam in Kiryandongo District, has revealed that the
project is 95% complete. The project which commenced in 2013 is due for
commissioning in December 2019.

The project, located in north-western Uganda, has
passed through great challenges before arriving to this completion stage. The
constructing company had to slow down the work after having noticed in 2016 the
appearance of cracks on the dam, which the company explained was caused by
climatic conditions of the area.

However, the issue was resolved and construction
work progressed as was planned. Upon completion, the Karuma hydroelectric power
plant will be the largest in the African country, with a production capacity of
600 MW.

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.

The dam, which is built at Karuma
Falls, on the Victoria Nile will also be the first underground power plant in
East Africa. Turbine capacity Alstom, a company based in Saint-Ouen, in
northern France supplied the six turbines that equip the Karuma hydroelectric
power plant.

Each of the turbines has a generating capacity of 100 MW. The electricity produced by the plant will be evacuated from the Lira substation, which is being rehabilitated to support the 600 MW capacity. The kilowatt-hour (kWh) distributed in this way is expected to cost the Ugandan consumer US $0.049 during the first 10 years of the plant’s life.

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