Work on the Bui Dam is steadily progressing with 85 per cent of total work completed as the hydroelectric project enters the final phase of construction.
A press statement by Mr Gabriel Apatu, External Relations Manager of Bui Power Authority, during a tour by newsmen at the dam site said civil works on the main dam was 95 per cent complete.
The main focus of activities currently was the completion of the intake gates to retain a lot of water to attain the minimum requirement needed to generate power, it added.
The statement said following the impoundment of the Black Volta River between June 8, 2011 and July 20, 2012 the water level had reached 140.57 metres above sea level (masl), but less than the minimum of 168(masl) required by the reservoir to start power generation.
It said ï¿½according to design reports on hydrology the reservoir will need two rainy seasons to attain the minimum level required to start power generationï¿½.
The statement explained that 89 per cent of civil works for powerhouse units one, two, and three and the erection bay had been completed, with generators yet to be assembled and erected.
The installation of runners (turbines) and other turboï¿½generator components have commenced in earnest, it said, adding, the turbine shaft would transfer mechanical energy from the turbine to the generator.
The statement said ï¿½finishing works have also resumed on the downstream permanent bridge, which is about 90 per cent completeï¿½.
It said the bridge, constructed across the Black Volta River, would serve as another link between Brongï¿½Ahafo and Northern Regions, to enhance road transport and to enable communities in the project area to have better access to markets to sell their farm produce.
The statement added that 633 transmission towers ï¿½are to be constructed to aid in the evacuation of power from the Bui Generating Plant, while 252 out of the 633 towers have been erected, representing 40 per cent of works and the stringing of the lines is also on-going with 125 of the towers strung, thus 20 per cent completeï¿½.
It said power produced from the plant would be evacuated from the Bui Switchyard through four 161kv transmission facilities, which would send the power produced from the Bui Generating Station to four Gridco substations in Sawla, Techiman, Kintampo and Sunyani.
On crop compensation, it said the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission acting on behalf of government and with the assistance of Bui Power Authority (BPA), had completed the payment of the first batch of crop compensation, amounting to GHC 1, 114, 209.00 to 580 farmers whose economic trees and crops had been affected by the on-going Bui Hydroelectric Project.
ï¿½This covered farmlands located at either the current construction area, the resettlement sites or within the area to be inundated by the Bui reservoirï¿½, the statement added.
The statement said the next batch of compensation payments being processed would cover the economic trees and crops affected by the construction of transmission lines and substations as part of the project.
Mr Jabesh Amissah Arthur, Chief Executive Officer, Bui Power Authority, stated an additional amount of 168 million dollars, which was long overdue, was required to ensure the successful execution of the project.
ï¿½A request has been made to the government in that regard and is still being processed with approval yet to be given, the legal document and details for these things take a long timeï¿½, he said.
The CEO observed delays in the release of the extra figure might delay the final completion of the project.
Additionally, he stated, the court was still hearing the case of the six families who have refused to relocate to the resettlement camp.
On security, Mr Amissah Arthur said there was a group of migrants from Mali who settled on the banks of the reservoir, which continued to be a source of attraction not only to Ghanaians but also to many across the sub-region.
He said the Authority had alerted national security agencies and indications were that they (security agencies) had to be on top of security otherwise the situation would get out of hand.
Mr Anthony Boye Osafoï¿½Kissi, Resident Engineer, said test trials on the third turbine to begin the generation of hydroï¿½electric power supply on the Dam was expected to begin by April 2013, adding that, the rest of the two turbines would be connected and put into operations afterwards.
He said the work of arranging and fixing cable systems was gradually advancing to ensure the transfer of power from generators to transformers.
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