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29.06.2005 General News

Government intends to develop Bui Dam

GNA

Accra, June 29, GNA - Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister of Energy on Wednesday said the key challenge to the implementation of the Bui Dam project, is the environmental impact, which consists of the inundation of part of the Bui National Park and the resettlement of over 2,000 people. He said in this regard, the impact of the flooding on fauna and flora as well as the resettlement of people has to be investigated and the necessary mitigation plans developed.

Prof. Oquaye said this in Parliament when answering a parliamentary question by Mr. Joseph Yaani Labik, Ind-Bunkpurugu-Yuuyoo on the status of the Bui and other hydro dam projects in the country. The Minister said as a policy, the government intends to develop the project primarily through private sector financing, but does preclude the possibility of multilateral or private-public partnership if found to be appropriate. "To achieve this objective the Bui Development Committee (BDC) has been set up to solicit proposals and select a developer for the project. "The BDC is also discussing the development of the project with some developers and investors who have express interest in the project." "Giving that the environment risks constitute the main design issue and also the key determining factor in attracting the private sector, to undertake the project the government is seeking funding to carry out the environmental impact assessment, which is expected to cost 1.5 US dollars.

Prof. Oquaye said 17 other hydro sites inclusive of Bui with potentials of 30-400 mega-watts have been identified and studied. "These potential sites have been studied to various levels of detail and candidates for power generation in the future and that the Ministry intends to promote these potential sites for development in other introduce diversity into the national generation sources." He said currently the most attractive potential sites including the Kintampo Falls and others are being prepared for development under the arrange of UNIDO and the International Network on Small Hydro Power (INSHP) from China. The Minister said other small hydropower sites would be developed as part of the rural energy delivery programme when the technical studies and funding arrangement are in place.

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