The government of Uganda is undertaking the construction of the largest hydroelectricity dam at Karuma, in Kiryandongo district. The USD 1.7 billion project is funded by Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of China and implemented by China's Sino Hydro Power Company.
The plant is divided into six major components namely a dam section, power intake unit, powerhouse, transformer cavern, surge chamber, pressure shafts, cable shaft and two tail-race tunnels for returning water circulating through the turbines back to the river.
Simon Kasyate, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Uganda Electricity Generation Company -UEGCL, took URN through a guided tour of the dam.
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The plant will generate 600 megawatts of hydroelectricity upon completion. Technically known as a run-of-river plant, the facility is expected to be commissioned on December 16, 2018.
In April 2016, the construction suffered four months long delays after cracks emerged in its only dam. Kasyate says major repairs employing internationally recommended procedures were undertaken to remedy the situation and prevent further cracking.
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Kasyate says internationally approved mechanism for repairing the cracks were immediately employed to eliminate the cracks.
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Since construction resumed in August last year, no more project threatening cracks have been observed. Kasyate says an ice plant has been incorporated in the civil works for mixing the concrete under international standards.
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There is a network of underground road tunnels measuring 26 Kilometers. The project employs some 5,000 Uganda and 1,000 Chinese expatriates from the Sino Hydro Power Company undertaking the works. Follow the pictures to learn more about the civil engineering works as captured by Peter Labeja.