The government has taken over the interim supervisory role of Isimba Hydro Power Project from Infratech PVT Ltd.
This follows the expiry of the 40 months supervisory contract that government signed with Infratech PVT Ltd, to undertake the role of owner's (government) engineer on the project
The takeover which starts today will be completed in seven days after which Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) will take up the mandate. UEGCL's Engineer Chad S Akita will lead the interim supervisory team and will be assisted by Isimba Hydro Power Project Management Consultant, SMEC International Pty Ltd, an Austria company.
The handover was witnessed by Project Steering Committee chairman Dr Badru Kiggundu. President Museveni appointed the committee last year to support quality assurance standards of Karuma and Isimba hydro power projects. Dr Kiggundu said the government has exercised its discretionary powers not to extend Infratech PVT Ltd for the remaining 12 months for the project to be completed.
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Kiggundu says Infratech PVT Ltd exits when the overall progress of Isimba project is estimated at 75 percent. Civil works progress is estimated at 68 percent, mechanical works at 67 percent and electro-mechanical at 66 percent as of the end of last month.
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Dr Kiggundu noted that the project steering committee was instituted as another supervisory layer to ensure that government's objectives in the project are met. He said the committee will not shy away from making tough decisions when necessary. Kiggundu noted is Infratech PVT Ltd work commendable but not satisfactory.
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Dr Kiggundu refused to delve into details as to why the government refused to renew the company's contract for the next remaining time to complete the project. But President Museveni last year ordered termination of Infratech PVT Ltd contract after reports of cracks at the dams under construction. The contract was not terminated on the Solicitor General's advice in regard to financial implications that would come with termination.
UEGCL chief executive officer Eng. Harrison Mutikanga said they will find a new owner's supervisor by November 1. UEGCL is the government implementing agency of the Isimba which projected to generate 183MWs and Karuma projected to generate 600MWs.
Key players in the project include UEGCL which is the government implementing agency, the contractor-Chia Water and Electricity Corporation, SMEC International Pty Ltd as well as Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.