The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, says the Minority’s concerns about the cost of the Pwalugu multipurpose dam project are misplaced as the scope of the work to be done warrants the budgeted amount for the project.
The 60-Megawatt facility is expected to cost US$366 million, but together with the irrigation component of the dam, the entire project is estimated at close to US$1 billion.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu on Wednesday called for the renegotiation of the deal, particularly the charge for the electrical generation components.
“I think the proper thing will be for the Committee of Finance and the Committee of Mines and Energy to re-examine this particular request. Other than that you cannot spend GHS366 million dollars on 60 megawatts of electricity…Ideally, I made a comment that the appropriate thing will be for the committees to re-examine it. We do not just look at terms and conditions but we look at its impact on the economy and the Ghanaian people,” the Tamale South MP said.
But in an interview with Citi News, the Majority Leader defended the deal, saying that the estimated amount involved key components such as the acquisition of lands.
“The Minority Leader raised some issues about the cost. On the face of it, one could agree except that when we had to do this Komenda sugar factory, it didn’t relate just to the factory. It related to the parcels of lands that were procured for the cultivation of sugarcane. It is the same thing for the Pwalugu factory. The amount procured is not only for the establishment of the factory but also the procurement of parcels of land and the irrigation to be relayed to all corners of the parcels of land,” he said.
About the dam
The Pwalugu Multipurpose project will consist of three main components, namely the construction of a hydropower plant; the construction of a solar farm; and the establishment of an irrigation scheme covering an area of some twenty-five thousand (25,000) hectares.
The Pwalugu reservoir can accommodate up to 120,000 cages of 25 square metres each of fish, with an average yield of two tons per cage, making possible the continuous development of the country’s aquaculture and fisheries sector.
The project is set to be the single, largest investment ever made by any Government in the Northern sector of the country.
The Volta River Authority says the project will commence in April 2020.
The entire project will be executed by a Chinese construction firm, Power China International and supervised by the Volta River Authority over a period of five years.
The irrigation component of the project will cost US$474,042,141.85.
The tax component of the project is US$69,284,727.79 and there is also a cadastral survey cost of US$800,000.00.
The electricity component of the project will consist of US$366 million, 60MW hydropower and a US$55.4 million, 50MW solar power while resettlement, survey and project management cost will amount to US$98 million.