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General News Sun, 18 Jun 2006

Bui Hydro Power project nearing take-off

Accra, June 18, GNA - The government on Sunday concluded arrangements with Sino-Hydro Company of China for the construction of the Bui Hydro Dam project scheduled to take off mid next year.

The completion for the funding arrangements of the about 600 million-dollar project that would generate an additional 400 megawatts of power ranked high on the agenda of the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister who arrives on Sunday for a two-day visit.

The Bui Dam, whose construction would take five years, would improve power supply, especially to the northern parts of Ghana, as well as put the country in a position to export power to its neighbouring countries such as Ccte d'lviore and Burkina Faso.

Signing a memorandum of understanding with the company, Mr Joseph K. Adda, the Energy Minister, said the project represented a milestone in the nation's historical achievements because it has enormous economic, social and political significance and benefits.

He said the decision to construct the dam was conceived by the government in 2001 and had remained committed in ensuring that the necessary ground work to bring it into fruition were done. Mr Adda said it also goes to further strengthen Ghana/China cooperation.

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Mr Li Rougu, President of the Exim Bank of China who led the Chinese delegation, said China was committed to deepening its economic relationship with Ghana and added "China is ready to support the development agenda of Ghana." He said the Exim Bank was also prepared to offer its support because it held the idea and doctrine of promoting development where it was needed.

"The Bank is prepared to discuss how to work out a package for the development efforts of Ghana," Mr Rougu said.

Mr Liu Qitao, Chairman of the Sino-Hydro Company, signed and exchange notes with Ghana's Energy Minister.

It was expected that the project would increase the yearly power generation capacity of the country's power system to approximately 1,000 gig watts per hour which is equivalent to 10 per cent of the current energy needs.

Besides power, the Bui project has irrigation potential for agricultural development. At present, government has set up the Bui Development Committee to over see the development phases of the project. Environmental Impact Assessment and feasibility studies are scheduled to be completed in August and September this year respectively. 18 June 06

Source: GNA
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