Mr Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority (BPA), has affirmed that power supply from the Bui hydro-electric project would begin in April this year.
He said the project was about 89 per cent complete and was in the final stages of construction.
Mr Amissah-Arthur made this known on Tuesday when President John Dramani Mahama visited the facility to assess the rate of progress of the project.
The CEO said the overall progress of the transmission lines stood at 62 per cent complete, explaining that four transmission lines were being constructed to aid in the evacuation of power from the Bui generating plant to the national grid.
“These four lines will send power produced from the plant to the four GRIDCo substations in Sawla, Techiman, Kintampo and Sunyani for distribution to consumers”, Mr Ammissah-Arthur added.
President Mahama was accompanied by the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Kwaku Bani, and other ministers of state including, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Mr Mahama Ayariga, Minister of Information and Media Relations.
The President expressed satisfaction with on-going works on the project and was optimistic that the first power supply from the dam would come off as scheduled
He thanked the chiefs and people of the area for voting massively to retain the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in power and assured them that the government would also ensure that the people got their fair share of the national cake.
He said as a national asset, the Bui Dam project on completion would also bring development to the area and assured both the skilled and the unskilled laid-off employees of jobs.
The development of the Bui Hydroelectric Power Project on the Black Volta at the Bui Gorge had been the subject of many studies, including detailed studies by J.S. Zhuk Hydro Project of USSR in 1966, a feasibility study by Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) of Austria in 1976 and another feasibility study by Coyne et Bollier of France in 1995.
The main construction of the project, which is expected to cost about $622 million, started in 2007 with a concessional loan of $263.5 million from the Chinese Government and a buyer’s credit of $298.5 million from the EXIM Bank in addition to government’s contribution of $60 million.
It was designed primarily for hydro power generation and includes the development of an irrigation scheme for agricultural development and presents an opportunity for enhanced eco-tourism and fisheries.
The project also includes a resettlement and community support programme.