This run-of-river hydropower plant is located in Bundibugyo District in Western Uganda. At the end of 2017 and in early 2018, the Contractor’s headrace pipeline installation methodology resulted in substantial adverse environmental and social damage and the Project was requested to temporarily stop construction. The Developer and EPC Contractor subsequently made concerted and commendable efforts to review and revise the design and construction approach, which resulted in substantially reduced environmental and social impacts.
Changes included realigning the headrace waterway and adopting an alternative pipeline installation methodology, leading to a muchreduced construction footprint. An access track, rather than road, was constructed to the weir, and construction materials and small equipment were manually transported to the weir site with larger materials and small plant transported via a cableway.
The delays experienced due to the earlier construction methodology, combined with the time taken to re-think and adopt an alternative construction approach, substantially impacted construction progress. Nonetheless, by the end of 2018, construction works had progressed well, and commercial operation was planned early during Q1 2019. A new 5 km power evacuation line has been constructed to connect the powerhouse to the existing grid, and further delays to its implementation may threaten the timely commissioning of the Project. The existing grid was expected to be sufficient to evacuate the full output of the Sindila SHP subject to modifications to convert it from a distribution only to evacuation line, which was also planned as a priority.