This will come as good news to President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who had lost patience with the engineers working on the Karuma Hydropower Project. The president accused the contractor of the 600MW dam Sinohydro Corporation China of poor performance when the infrastructure developed cracks.
In March, 2016, an angry Museveni summoned the line minister Irene Muloni and tasked her to correct the wrongs of the contractors. In a reactionary move, experts from Sinohydro Corporation China were brought in to study the mishaps.
And now, a team of dam construction experts from Sinohydro has said the cracks which were reported on the spillway at the Karuma Dam currently under construction are just common cracks that happen in the construction industry and are remediable.
The experts say that the cracks which had caused panic therefore won’t affect the overall functionality of the 600MW dam. This assertion is contained in a report the experts handed over to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) this week following three weeks of intensive investigations.
Following a visit to the dam recently, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni instructed that work on the Spillway be put on hold and investigation be carried out to ascertain the impact of the Cracks on the overall functionality of the dam.
Acting on the Minister’s directive, the team of Experts from Sinohydro, led by Mr. Yang Yixin arrived in Uganda on 20th April to carry out detailed investigation and has handed over a report with remedial steps to be taken to Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL).
“The cracks after treatment with appropriate methodology shall have no adverse effect on the overall dam structure and its functionality. Sinohydro has commenced the procurement of equipment and materials for the treatment of cracks”, the report stated.
According to the report, the experts in a course of three weeks worked in conjunction with over 30 specialists in design and construction of concrete works on the ground and in China to analyze the causes of cracks and formulate remedial measures.
The team was to draft draft preventative/improvement measures to be adopted in concrete works construction based on the study of the drilled cores and construction methodologies and finalized the Report on Dam Concrete Crack Analysis and Preventative/Improvement Measures and submitted to OE, UEGCL and the Owner for assessment and approval within the one month time prescribed by the Minister of Energy.