Government Hires New "Owners Engineer" For Isimba Dam Top story


In short
Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited Corporate Affairs Manager, Simon Kasyate in a statement confirmed that ARTELIA EAU ENVIRONMENT and KKATT CONSULT LIMITED are the new Owners Engineer OE for the Isimba 183MW Hydro Power Project.

Government has finally hired new multi-specialist engineering firms to act as consulting engineers for troubled Isimba Hydro Power dam.
Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited' Corporate Affairs Manager, Simon Kasyate in a statement confirmed that ARTELIA EAU & ENVIRONMENT and KKATT CONSULT LIMITED are the new Owners Engineer (OE) for the Isimba (183MW) Hydro Power Project.
The new consortium according to Kasyate takes over from Energy Infratectech PvT Limited (EIPL) whose contract expired in September last year. Infratectech PvT Limited (EIPL) did not have its contract renewed because it is allged to have been responible for the shoddy work at  Isimba and Karuma.

The two firms will according to the contract be mandated to carry out a design review, quality assurance, project supervision and ensuring strict enforcement of contractual obligations by the Engineering Procurement & Construction Contractor (EPCC) for China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE).
The procurement of the two firms comes hardly two weeks after yet reported flooding at Isimba dam.

The flooding that led to a halt in activities at Isimba is believed to have been caused by the collapse of the cofferdam.

The 183 Megawatt Isimba dam being constructed by government had previously developed cracks blamed on lack of supervision and the use of substandard materials.
The Auditor General John Muwanga recently reported that Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited was still maintaining from Energy Infratectech PvT Limited (EIPL) on site even when its contract had expired.

The Project Steering Committee chaired by Dr. Badiru Kiggundu blamed the shoddy works at Karuma and Isimba hydro Power Projects Energy Infratectech PvT Limited (EIPL).

Dr. Badiru Kigundu in an explanation published in September warned that UEGCL stood a risk of incurring high operation and maintenance costs related to equipment of inferior grade used by EPIL instead of what was specified in the contract.

He said the high costs in operation and maintenance for a project such as Isimba is self-defeating to Government's quest to provide affordable electricity for socio-economic development.

Dr. Kiggundu then said there was a genuine worry that change of a supervising consultant/owners Engineer could have what he called perilous consequences on the project delivery from timelines, budget and technical specifications.

It is not yet clear whether the two firms have the capacity to overcome fears raised by Dr. Kiggundu and his team.

Who are the firms?
There is scanty knowledge about ARTELIA EAU & ENVIRONMENT though online searches by URN showed companies with similar names operating in different countries including china.
Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) that promotes new technologies in renewable energy described ARTELIA is an independent international multi-specialist engineering firm able to offer its clients in the public and private sectors an original approach to engineering, project management and consultancy.

KKATT CONSULT LIMITED is said to be a local company with offices in Kampala. It boasts of having consulted for the Energy Ministry in collection of data for feasibility study for development of Isimba Hydro Electricity Plant.

Construction at the 183 MW project according to Dr. Kiggundu commenced on April 30, 2015 and was expected to last for 40 calendar months.