Friday, June 10, 2011

Filling Of Bui Dam Reservoir Begins

Filling Of Bui Dam Reservoir Begins
Akwasi Ampratwum- Mensah - Daily Graphic, June 10, 2011

The process to block the Black Volta River in order to form a reservoir
from which water will be used for power generation at the Bui Dam has
commenced at Bui.

The impoundment process marked a milestone in the implementation of the
Bui hydroelectric power project which is expected to be completed in 2013.

It is the fourth major component of the power facility, after the
historic sod-cutting in August 2007, detailed geological and
hydro-geological investigations in October 2007 and the commencement of
preparatory works in January 2008.

The project is being implemented by the Bui Power Authority (BPA), with
financing from a hybrid credit facility comprising a concessionary loan
from the Government of China, a buyer's credit from the China Exim Bank
and a contribution by the Government of Ghana.

Initially, the project was estimated at US$622 million. However, a cost
review conducted by the BPA has showed that an additional US$168 million
was needed to successfully complete the project.

The project, which is being executed by Sinohydro Corporation of China
Limited, is expected to augment Ghana's installed hydropower capacity by
400 megawatts, an increase of about 35 per cent.

The Chief Executive Officer of the BPA, Mr Jabesh Amissah-Arthur,
explained that two years of inflow was needed to be able to store enough
water to commence power production and expressed the hope that after the
2012 rainy season, the lake would achieve a level that was sufficient to
start power production.

He underscored the importance of the project, which is not limited to
only power production but also several auxiliary projects which will
have complementary benefits, including the Bui irrigation scheme.

He said the government was seeking to take advantage of the project to
develop an irrigation scheme for over 30,000 hectares of land to boost
agricultural production.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said a research team had been contracted to carry out
a fish stock assessment study and prepare a fisheries development plan
which would help to tap the fisheries potential of the Bui reservoir.

The Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Power, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini,
said the project was a catalyst to the government's policy of developing
the northern sector of the country under the Savannah Accelerated
Development Authority (SADA).

He said the Ministry of Energy was committed to maintaining a stable
environment for the efficient management of the country's energy resources.

A representative of Sinohydro Corporation Limited, Mr Yuesheng Cao, said
the construction of the dam was not only a great achievement of the
economic and trade co-operation between China and Ghana but also
evidence of the friendship between the two countries.

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