Generation unit at
the Bujagali hydropower
plant in Uganda
 
Kampala, Uganda — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 13 December 2011 – There has been another delay with the troubled Bujagli hydropower project “’ which is seen as crucial in solving the acute power shortage in Uganda “’ and it will not be launching operations tomorrow, as planned.

It was revealed here that technical hitches in the completed unit of the project now required engineers to disassemble the unit and fix it afresh to avoid possible permanent damage.

A source familiar with the Jinja-based project “’ which is at the heart of major efforts to end the power shortage “’ says the unit, which should have been on board tomorrow, can only come on stream at the  end of February following a leak inside the unit. The leak requires that the whole unit is broken down; the leak is stopped and then the unit is rebuilt.

“The plant is complete, but the commissioning of the first unit has been delayed due to technical challenges. We discovered that there is a damage and must be rectified as it could cause greater damage to the machines,” said the source.

This means that the crippling energy crisis will continue until February 2012 at the earliest following information that the rebuilding of the unit could last at least another two months.

Already a team of electro-mechanical installation officials from Alstom Hydro of France are in the country to work through the Christmas period. Alstom Hydro was sub-contracted under the Italian contractor Salini Hydo Limited back in 2008 to provide electrical and mechanical components for the project.