Mahama pays working visit to Bui Dam site
Vice President John Mahama, on Saturday witnessed the pouring of the first concrete on the Bui River bed, as part of a working tour of the Bui Hydroelectric power site to acquaint himself with progress of work on the multi-million project.
The pouring of the concrete signals progress on the 622 million dollar hydroelectric project, which is expected to help shore-up Ghana’s energy requirements.
Mr Mahama watched with much elation as the ‘roller compacted concrete’ was poured unto the river bed around 1500 hours and expressed satisfaction with progress of work.
When complete, the project would help to improve the security of energy supply to Northern parts of Ghana and become a potential for export of power to neighbouring West African nations.
Earlier, the Vice President went round the project site meeting with the contractors, officials of the Bui Power Authority (BPA) and the chiefs in the Banda area.
It was to galvanize further support for the estimated 400 megawatts project, which is to deal with the energy shortfall experienced in the country in recent times as demands for power increased.
A critical component of the project is to revolutionalise agriculture practice in the Bui catchment with the irrigation of 30, 000 hectares of land.
At the time of the Vice President’s visit, the Bui gorge was being excavated and cleaned for the construction of the dam.
Heavy earth machines were been operated at various sites of the 440 kilometers site, cutting through huge boulder so as to meet project completion date of February 2013.
Mr Jabesh Amissah Arthur, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority, conducted Mr Mahama round, together with Mr Yan, Project Manager of Sinohydro and the contractors.
Mr Arthur said work on the project was progressing as planned and barring any unforeseen events, it shall be delivered as intended.
He said a major achievement of the project so far was the successful river closure and subsequent diversion of the river by the construction of diversion channels and coffer dams, allowing for the excavation of the main dam.
Mr Arthur said the main dam construction would start in December this year, while the reservoir filling is to begin in February 2011.
Former President John Agyekum Kufour cut the sod for the commencement of the project in August 2007.
The project, according to experts, consists mainly of a roller compacted concrete gravity dam, a spillway, power intakes and penstocks located within the concrete dam, powerhouse at the toe of the dam on the left bank, two rockfill saddle dams on the right bank and a switchyard.
In addition, the project is to have a multiple use for the development of fisheries, tourism and irrigation.
It would also involve the construction of a nucleus township, which will be the building block of a planned metropolis to be called the Bui city.