- Social & Environmental
PRESS RELEASE – FULL LOADING TEST FOR SPILLWAY GATES - Dec 2015
Bui Power Authority (BPA) as the custodian and manager of the Bui Hydroelectric Project has a responsibility to control the flow of water to ensure that the safety of the Bui Dam and its structures are not jeopardized. Furthermore, to protect the lives and properties of inhabitants living downstream of the Bui Dam, the Authority has a responsibility to control the flow of water from the dam, in accordance with Section 12 of the Act 740, to prevent flooding downstream beyond the levels preceding the construction of the dam.
To verify the adequacy of a critical safety aspect of the Bui Hydroelectric Project, (i.e. the design features of the dam intended to achieve the above flood control during an emergency), full load tests must be performed on the spillway gates together with an assessment of the effects of any such emergency water discharge on the dam toe and other structures downstream.
In view of the inadequate inflows into the Bui reservoir at the time of Taking-Over the project, the Authority and the EPC Contractor agreed to put on-hold the full load testing of the spillway. The parties agreed that these tests would be conducted when the reservoir had reached the appropriate level for the loading test.
At the end of the 2015 inflow season, the Bui Reservoir has for the first time since impoundment reached an acceptable level for the conduct of the deferred tests. Accordingly, the Authority hereby announces that it intends to carry out testing of the Spillway Gates sometime between 14th - 16th December 2015.
The water to be discharged during the test is expected to remain below the river levels normally experienced in the rainy seasons prior to the construction of the dam. As such no loss of life or property is expected. Nevertheless, the Authority has identified and will inform all the communities and areas downstream from the Bui Dam to Buipe that may be affected, if at all. The Authority is proceeding to engage with these stakeholder communities extensively and to alert them accordingly of the impending discharge of water.
The Authority will also be working closely with the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), District and Municipal Assemblies and the Security Agencies in the sensitization of the communities living downstream from the Bui Dam to Buipe. It is expected that the sensitization exercise will create the necessary awareness and assure the inhabitants downstream that no life or property will be lost during the period of the tests.
The expected water discharge during the performance of the test will not have any significant effect on the accumulated inflows for the operation of the Bui Generating Station in 2016. We also assure the general public that all water discharged from the Bui Dam will flow into the Volta Lake to enhance power generation at the Akosombo as well as Kpong Generating Stations.