Construction of Bui Dam Begins
Construction of Bui Dam Begins Website
President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday cut the sod to mark the start of work on the 622-million-dollar Bui Hydro-Electric Dam Project at Bui in the Brong Ahafo Region. The construction of the Dam, which has been on the drawing board for decades, would add 400 megawatts to the national electricity generation mix on completion. Apart from hydropower generation, the Project has irrigation, fisheries and tourism components and the construction of a nucleus of a metropolis to be called Bui City that is expected to provide impetus to the economic and social transformation of the area. The construction phase is projected to give direct employment to 2,900 Ghanaians. Speaking at the ceremony President Kufuor gave a firm assurance that its implementation would be kept consistent with internationally accepted environmental standards and best practices. A comprehensive environmental monitoring and mitigation plan, he said, had been incorporated in the Project's design to minimize its negative impact. Additionally, the Government would ensure that compensatory plans for resettlement of about 2,000 people, who would be affected by the Project, would draw extensively on experiences from earlier re-settlement schemes undertaken during the construction of the Akosombo and Kpong Hydro-Electric Projects. President Kufuor said the Project, programmed for completion in early 2012, was part of the overall strategy to triple the country's energy supply capacity from the current 2,000 megawatts to 6,000 megawatts by 2015. He called on the nation's engineers, technicians and managers as well as both skilled and unskilled labour to take full advantage of it to help to promote the necessary technology transfer that would enable the country to execute similar projects on its own in the future. Sino-Hydro, Chinese Company, reputed for the construction of China's biggest hydropower dam is constructing the project. President Kufuor spoke of plans to build small dams on the Ankobra, Pra, Tano and the White Volta. He said "to look ahead to the next 30 years, to forestall the current energy shortage problems that currently confront us, and in anticipation of increased population and widespread industrialization, it is hoped that planning ahead for increased energy supply will become part of the national culture". President Kufuor conveyed the country's appreciation to China, which is providing 562 million dollars towards the Project. The remaining 60 million dollars is from the Government of Ghana. "The (Bui) Hydro-Energy Project is yet another addition to the list of collaborative ventures," he said. Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Energy Minister, described the Project as a 'dream that has become a reality'. Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance Minister, asked the business community to seize the opportunity offered by the Project to create more wealth and jobs. China's Ambassador, Mr Yu Wenzhe said Ghana and his country were both developing and that it was important for them to cooperate and to assist each other in times of need. He said China would continue to support Ghana as well as encourage its entrepreneurs to invest and set up joint-ventures in the country. Mr J.H. Mensah, a Statesman, who presided, said the project was in fulfilment of a promise the Government made to the nation. President Kufuor also spoke of efforts to address the current energy crisis, saying the country hopes to generate 1000 megawatts of power by the end of next year. The Bui Dam project itself is expected to generate 400 megawatts on completion. The Dam, which had been reduced to a mere proposal and a plan four decades after Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah dreamed of its role in the industrialization of the country, will be Ghana's second biggest hydroelectric dam after Akosombo. The Bui Dam will be constructed on the Black Volta over the next five years.