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More power as Prez inaugurates Bui Dam

More power as Prez inaugurates Bui Dam

The Bui Hydroelectric Station in the Brong Ahafo Region yesterday officially added 400 megawatts (MW) of power to the national grid following its inauguration by the President, Mr John Dramani Mahama.
The station, which has three generating units, each with 133.3 MW, also has a switchyard and transmission lines constructed to evacuate power from the plant.
Power produced from the plant is evacuated from the switchyard through 161 kilovolt transmission facilities which are operated as part of the national interconnected transmission system.
The station, which amounts to an average annual generation of 1,000 GWh, represents 20 per cent of the country's installed capacity.
Apart from energy supply, the Bui Dam Project will be used to irrigate 30,000 hectares of land for agricultural production, among other benefits.
The project, which began in 2008, was funded with a concessionary loan of US$263.5 million and a buyer’s credit of US$298.5 million from China and the China EXIM Bank, respectively, while the government contributed US$60 million.
President Mahama switched on the power by pressing a software programme on a computer from the control room.
In a symbolic gesture, the management of Sino Hydro Corporation Limited of China, contractors on the project, handed over the keys to the plant to the Bui Power Authority (BPA).
The inauguration was graced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor, current and former ministers of state, a Senior Advisor to President Mahama, Alhaji Baba Kamara, and the Chairman and the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Kwabena Adjei and Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, respectively.
Also in attendance were the chiefs and people from the communities who have been resettled away from the project area.
President on the Project
In his address, the President said the inauguration of the project had brought the total power added to the national grid this year to 500 MW.
That, he said, had increased the country's generating capacity and "put us on track to realising the targeted 5,000 MW by 2016".
He said with the additional power that the government and other private sector partners were exploring to generate, the government would achieve total coverage of electricity by 2016 and make Ghana a net exporter of power in West Africa.
He said, for instance, that two companies had signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy for the generation of 100 MW solar power.
President Mahama said the addition of 133 MW from one of the three generating units of the Bui Generating Station to the national grid in May 2013 had helped to ameliorate the load shedding, which was caused by the breakdown of gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline Company.
Mr Mahama said the operation of the Bui Generating Station at full capacity would ensure reliable power supply in the country.
The President commended Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, for initiating the Bui Hydroelectric Project and lauded former President Jerry John Rawlings for ordering a feasibility study to be conducted on the project.
He thanked former President Kufuor for securing funding for the project from China and again showed appreciation to the late President John Evans Atta Mills for securing additional funding for the project.
He lauded Sino Hydro Corporation Limited for executing quality work and on schedule and indicated that the project would strengthen Ghana-China relations.
The President commended members of the communities who were previously at the site of the project for agreeing to the resettlement package.
He assured them of the government's readiness to settle all the outstanding issues, including compensation.
Other Projects
President Mahama gave an assurance that the government would partner the private sector to establish the Bui City to promote social and economic activities in the area.
Besides, he said, the agricultural component for the project would be pursued vigorously.
Other Speakers
The Minister of Energy, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, said the government was on course to generate 5000 MW and achieve nationwide coverage of electricity by 2016.
The Chief Executive Officer of the BPA, Mr Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, gave an assurance that his outfit would ensure the efficient operation of the generating station to ensure reliable power supply.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gong Jianzhong, said the execution of the Bui Hydroelectric Project marked a milestone in the relations between Ghana and China.
The Vice-President of Sino Hydro Corporation Limited of China, Mr Wan Li, said the quality work executed would ensure the efficient operation of the generating station.
 A number of people the Daily Graphic interviewed expressed satisfaction with the successful completion of the project and the eventual inauguration of the station, indicating that the power to be generated would complement the energy supply from the Akosombo Dam.
They were also optimistic that the intermittent power outages would be over and culminate in the opening of job opportunities.
Mr Azaanab Waksman, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of the CNC, noted that the ‘dumso, dumso’ issue would be over, adding that the completion of the project signified the government’s preparedness to solve the energy challenges in the country.
  Ms Mabel Yaa Opare Boatemaa, a student, stated that schoolchildren would have access to regular power supply to study, especially with computers and other educational gadgets, adding that the generating station would provide economic prosperity for the people.
 Nana Guakro Effah IV, Kronkohene of Nkoranza, who is also the Kyeremankomahene of Kintampo, said the inauguration of the project was a blessing to the people of the Brong Ahafo, and Northern regions in particular and Ghana as a whole.

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