Govt sets new date for Karuma dam commissioning

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KARUMA – In 2013, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms. Irene Muloni said Karuma dam was on track and was expected to be commissioned in 2018.

The story stayed the same in 2015, all through the years leading to 2018. But in 2018, the narrative transitioned to 2019.

The Minister on August 23, told the President that Karuma was expected to be commissioned in July 2019.

The narrative on Wednesday during the energy week changed to December 2019.

“Karuma dam, we are giving it up to the end of next year. But progressively, whatever machines are ready will be good for us to have added capacity,” she says.

The delay, she says, is perpetuated by land hoarders who increasingly overprice their land, contrary to the price set by the government valuer. This move averts government’s intentions to build lines meant to evacuate power expected from the dams.

“Karuma is 80 percent complete. We had expected to commission it the end of this year but there have been delays created largely by challenges of acquiring land for transmission lines. We have transmission lines that will evacuate power from Karuma to Kampala and northern Uganda,” she says.

She urged the public to cooperate with the government with quicker land acquisition because delays in commissioning these projects put pressure on the tariff which covers all costs in power production.

There is a likelihood of commissioning two machines at the end of this year, adding 200MW as full commissioning draws nearer.

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