A fresh report has exposed the rot at the multi-billion Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects.
According to Auditor General’s Report for 2017 obtained by Business Focus, a review of the progress reports for the Karuma Dam revealed a number of anomalies, including; failures in the quality assurance/quality control procedures, quality control results likely being false in some occurrences and therefore being unreliable, poor quality of concrete lining causing cracks in some sections of the dam.
Under the Isimba HPP, progress reports revealed inadequate supervision of the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, which resulted in poor concrete quality on site, cracking, cold joints, honeycombing and failed concrete repairs, says John Muwanga, the Auditor General in his 2017 report to Parliament.
Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGC) is overseeing the construction of Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects.
“These are indications of lack of capacity and inadequate experienced personnel by the Owner’s Engineer to resolve site problems,” the report reads in part.
It adds: “Although the contract for the Consulting Engineer for the Isimba HPP expired in September 2017 and has not been renewed due to poor performance, the same Engineer is still supervising the Karuma HHP causing concerns about the quality of the works at the dam.”
The AG says the above anomalies may lead to high maintenance costs for the projects.
“Management was advised to closely monitor and supervise the EPC contractor and the owners engineer to ensure that they fulfill their obligations under the respective contracts,” the report adds.
Karuma is a 600MW hydro-power dam that is expected to cost slightly over US$1.4bn, while Isimba Hydroelectric Power Station is a 183.2 megawatts (245,700 hp) hydroelectric power project expected to cost US$590 million.