The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa, has expressed frustration with the contractor for delaying to fix the defects on Isimba dam two years after it was commissioned.
According to Nankabirwa, the contractor, China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE), must rectify all defects on the dam within six months and hand it over to government.
This after Mr Harrison Mutikanga, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Electricity Generation Company, told the minister that more than 500 defects have been detected at the dam.
Some of the defects include the generator circuit breaker for Unit One, which has been down for four months, a leaking roof whenever it rains, which is putting electric panels at risk, and leakages on concrete structures in the power house.
“We want a plant that is generating electricity reliably, safely and to also make sure that all systems are working. We want all defects fixed with quality equipment so that we contribute to the Government objective of social transformation,” Mutikanga said.
According to the minister, the delayed fixing of the defects has a financial implication on the government.
“I am particular on commitments on projects. These are negotiated projects where implementation agreements are signed with time frames within which to be completed,” she said.
Nankabirwa was inspecting the dam alongside her junior minister Okasai Opolot early this week.
Mr Michael Elimu Esimu, the power generation manager at Isimba power station, said since March 2019 when the plant was commissioned by President Museveni, they have identified 584 defects with the potential to stall the smooth operation of the plant.
But he said the defects liability period ends in March 2022.
Government awarded the Chinese firm the contract for the $567.7m (about S2 trillion) Isimba project, which started in April 2015.
The project was then commissioned in March 2019 and was expected to generate 183.2 megawatts of electricity a year once it achieved a substantial completion mark on March 31, 2019.
On April 12, 2019, the takeover certificate was issued to the EPC contractor, after the Government and contractor agreed that fixing the defects be completed by September 30, 2019.