The Government of Uganda is planning to begin redeveloping the Karuma Hydro-Power project 10 months after the Norpak Corporation (Norpak) has been selected. The whole Norpark project design will be restored from the 250 megawatt (MW) to 750 MW. The plant is anticipated to expand power to local centres in central, eastern and West Nile regions specially Karuma-Kawanda, Karuma-Lira, and Karuma Olwiyo, Olwiyo-Packwach, Olwiyo-Adjumani and a new 132/133kV sub-station extension to Lira.
Norpak has received rights to build up the project in the mid 90s but the contract negotiations dragged the process until the current global financial crisis and failure to pay a performance bond forced it out.
“We are hoping to procure a private consultant by March who should start work immediately,” said, state minister for energy Simon D juanga.
Energy officials said that the project will be completed by June 2009 but it is not clear whether it would be prepared for commissioning by 2012.
D juanga has said that part of the plan is to make an under ground installation. He also said the government already funded $300 million from the energy fund but the whole project development and construction is expected to cost $1 billion.
Finance minister Ezra Suruma said, in his budget speech, that the main focus in the energy sector, this financial year, will be the commencement of construction of the Karuma Hydropower Project using the energy fund for which a further SHS109 billion has been provided. This was in addition to the SHS208 billion of the energy fund carried forward from financial year 2007-08 for use in the development of the same project.