General News Thu, 31 Jan 2013

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Bui Dam 97 per cent complete

The Bui Dam Project, which was initiated and started by the NPP administration in 2007, is 97 percent complete and if things go well, the project will start operating by the close of the year.

This was disclosed to DAILY GUIDE by one of the engineers on site who declined to mention his name.

According to the engineer, if things went on well, load-shedding and power fluctuation would end in Ghana.

When DAILY GUIDE visited the dam site, Chinese workers as well as their Ghanaian counterparts were busily working on the turbines while others were building quarters meant for displaced persons who used to live on the banks of the Black Volta.

So far, the generators have been assembled and erected while the installation of the turbines and other turbo generators components is in progress.

The turbine shaft, which transfers mechanical energy from the turbine to the generator, has also been successfully installed.

At downstream, a permanent bridge has been built to link the Brong Ahafo Region and the Northern Region to facilitate travels.

According to the engineer, power that would be generated from the Bui Generation Station would go to four GridCo stations in Sawla in the Northern Region, Techiman, Kintampo and Sunyani, all in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Speaking to one of the beneficiaries of the newly built two-bedroom quarters, Nana Kwabena Danquah Denteh, he told DAILY GUIDE that he was very happy to own the quarters because hitherto, he was living in a thatched house and had to cut grass every year to roof his house.

He was however quick to add that the government should impress upon the Bui Dam Authority to expedite action on the payment of compensation to those who lost their farmlands due to the project.

Fishermen who were plying their trade along the Black Volta have been moved downstream.

Opanin Nkansah Adu, a 67-year-old fisherman who has lived and fished at Bui for the past 42 years, said currently, fishermen at Bui did not make any meaningful catch but there was the hope that when the dam was finally completed, the lake that would be created would go a long way to improve fishing activities.

The history of the Bui Dam dates back as far as 1925 when a British-Australian geologist called Albert Ernest Kitson identified the Bui gorge, which is located on the Black Volta in the then Northern Ashanti Region, as ideal for the construction of a dam.

In 1960, the CPP government, under Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, put the project of building a dam there on the drawing board but the project could not be executed before the Osagyefo was overthrown.

When he was overthrown, game wardens were stationed at the Bui Area to take care of black hippopotamus to encourage tourism.

Successive governments that came after Kwame Nkrumah continued feasibility studies of the gorge until the NPP, under John Agyekum Kufour, came to power.

In 2002, then President Kufour went to China and negotiated with the Chinese government to help build a dam at the Bui gorge, with the support of the government of Ghana.

The project, which is being financed by China Exim Bank, started in January 2008 and is expected to be completed this year.

The cost of the project is $622 million and it is expected to produce 400 megawatts of electricity.

A Chinese construction company, Sino Hydro, was commissioned to execute the job.

Source: Daily Guide Network

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