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Work begins to heighten Sudan's 280-MW Roseires Dam

Chinese companies have begun construction to increase the height of the 280-MW Roseires Dam on Sudan's Blue Nile to increase irrigation and power generation in southern Sudan.

Sudan President Omer Hassan al-Bashir cut a ribbon August 13 signifying a beginning of work under the US$396 million contract with China International Water and Electric Corp. and SinoHydro Corp. (HNN 4/29/08) Construction is expected to take four years.

Roseires is to be increased in height 10 meters, increasing irrigation and power generation potential. Built in the 1960s, Roseires has a 1,000-meter-long central concrete buttress section with earth embankments on each side of 8.5 kilometers and 4 kilometers in length.

Water storage is to increase from to 7.3 billion cubic meters from 3 billion. It is to increase power generation at Roseires by 50 percent, double generation at 15-MW Sennar Dam on the Blue Nile, and increase potential generation at 1,250-MW Merowe Dam, under construction on the Nile. (HNN 1/18/08)

"Today we heighten the dam," Bashir said. "This year, we are going to inaugurate Merowe Dam, then we go to other locations in the south to make feasibility studies in order to construct dams like this one, to provide people with water, irrigation facilities, and increase electricity generation and establish projects which promote national unity."

SMEC International of Australia and Coyne et Bellier of France signed contracts with Sudan's Dams Implementation Unit for design review and preparation of contract documents for the work.

In March, the Islamic Development Bank announced US$80 million to help finance the project. Funding also is coming from the Arab Fund for Economic Development, the Kuwaiti Fund for Economic Development, the OPEC Fund, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

Sudan has conducted major work on Roseires in recent years, commissioning VA Tech Hydro to rehabilitate turbine-generator and governor equipment.

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