Amaliba stirs up Bui dam glory debate amidst power crisis

A member of the governing the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Abraham Amaliba has claimed the glory for his government’s ability to get Bui Dam running although Ghanaians continue to stagger through darkness.

“When the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was leaving power, Bui [dam] was not producing even one kilowatt. It was the NDC that brought Bui to where it is”, Amaliba beat his chest on Multi TV and Joy FM’s Newsfile.

A familiar power crisis and public bashing fuelled the beginning of the construction of the Dam by the NPP in 2007 . The Bui Dam is a 400 megawatt hydroelectric project, built on the Black Volta river. Construction on the main dam began in December 2009. Its first generator, produced power on May 3, 2013.

The erstwhile John Kufuor government signed the contract with the Chinese engineering company, Sinohydro, in April 2007. The construction of the dam’s first phase was completed in 2008.

The construction of the Dam cost the government of Ghana $60million out of the total project cost of $622m which was largely funded by the Chinese government.

In May 2013, former President John Agyekum Kufuor damned the NDC government for not inviting him for the commissioning of Bui Dam. But government explained, the former president would be invited to the official commissioning of the dam in November 2013 – and he was.

Weighing in on Ghana’s current energy crisis, Abraham Amaliba accused the NPP of failing to improve Ghana’s energy supply. He referred to a Strategic Reserve Plant (SRP) brought in under the NPP which was labelled as “toys” after it failed to lessen a power energy crisis.

Abraham Amaliba
He summed up NPP’s involvement with Bui Dam as at best “foundation” work. According to Amaliba, nobody “needs light to see ” it was the NDC that got Bui Dam operational.

Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide Kweku Baako Jnr, accused Abraham of doing “emotional driven propaganda politics with Bui Dam. 

He said it was the NPP that secured almost 90% of the funding of the Dam and also resettled over 1,200 people displaced by the site of the dam.

Bui Dam factfile
The Bui had been on the drawing board since since the 1960s, when Ghana’s largest dam, the Akosombo Dam, was built further downstream on the Volta River. By 1978 planning for the Bui Dam was advanced with support from Australia and the World Bank.

However, four military coups stalled the plans. At the time Ghana began to be plagued by energy rationing, which has persisted since then. In 1992, the project was revived and a first feasibility study was conducted by the French firm Coyne et Bellier.

The total project costs are estimated to be US$622 million. It was financed by the government of Ghana’s own resources (US$60m) and two credits by the China Exim Bank: a concessional loan of US$270 million at 2% interest and a commercial loan of US$292 million.

Both loans have a grace period of five years and an amortization period of 20 years. The proceeds of 30,000 tons per year of Ghanaian cocoa exports to China, which are placed in an escrow account at the Exim Bank, serve as collateral for the loan.

Phase I activities ended in December 2008. Construction Phase II (Main works) commenced in January 2009. The Bui Dam was commissioned on Thursday December 19, 2013 by President John Dramani Mahama.

Project Milestone and Completion Schedule
PHASE I (Actual)
October 2007                   – Commenced Field Investigation

January 2008              – Commenced Preparatory Works

December 2008               – River Diversion Completed

PHASE II (Actual)
Jan. -Nov 2009                – River-bed Excavation and Dam Foundation

December 2009               – Main RCC Dam Commenced

June 2011                       – River Impoundment Commenced

May 2013                        – First Unit Commissioned

July 2013                         – Second Unit Commissioned

November 2013              – Third Unit Commissioned

December 2013              – Official Commissioning of BUI GS. Story by Ghana||Edwin Appiah|[email protected]

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