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Ghana blocks river for construction of 400-MW Bui

Chinese engineers blocked the Black Volta River December 2, launching the second phase of construction of Ghana's 400-MW Bui hydroelectric project.

The official Ghana News Agency reported Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor performed the ceremonial river closing. The president said the US$622 million project would help transform the economic and social lives of the nation.

Bui includes a roller-compacted-concrete dam and three generating units totaling 400 MW. In addition to power generation, the project is to irrigate 30,000 hectares.

River closure is to allow construction of the main dam and other structures including the spillway, power intake, and powerhouse. The first phase of construction, including support buildings and access roads, was completed ahead of schedule a month ago.

Officials of Ghana and China signed seven financing agreements in September, including two for US$562 million in funding for Bui. (HNN 9/8/08) China's SinoHydro Corp. is building the project under an engineering-procurement-construction contract. Work is to be completed in 2012.

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