The Volta River Authority (VRA) is set to obtain a siting permit for the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam Project (PMDP). The siting permit is a legal document required prior to construction of a power project endorsing the implementation of the project at a specified location.
On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, a team from VRA, led by Project Coordinator, Mr. Kwaku Wiafe, met with a siting committee from the Energy Commission to demonstrate to them that the PMDP merits a siting permit.
The Siting Committee comprises of representatives from various Government Institutions; Energy Commission, Water Resource Commission (WRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Land Use and Spatial Authority (LUPSA), Ministry of Defence, Geological Survey Authority, and Ghana Grid Company Limited.
Project Coordinator for the PMDP, Mr. Kwaku Wiafe, delivering a presentation to the committee on the overview of the project and the progress so far, stated that he believes the project is ready to receive a siting permit.
The presentation focused on hydro and solar components of the project, stating the technical issues, geological studies, project impact and mitigation measures, project benefit and project status.
Chairman of the meeting and Director, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency & Climate Change of the Energy Commission, Mr. Kofi Agyarko, expressed his elation at the benefits the project will bring to the Northern Regions, especially in the area of flood control and irrigation.
He, however, expressed his concern about the land acquisition, resettlement and community engagement activities and advised the prioritization of heritage and culture in the project implementation.
Mr. Kwaku Wiafe assured that those key issues are being taken into consideration and will be done right.
Again, the committee was concerned as to whether the project would be able to mitigate the perennial flooding that besets the Northern Regions from the spillage of the Bagre Dam and seasonal rains.
Mr. Kwaku Wiafe reassured the committee that the project will do as required and added that all six (6) spillways will be gated and there will be no natural spill or overtopping which can cause flooding downstream. Moreover, an emergency preparedness plan shall be prepared to manage spillage downstream of the dam.
The committee also advised that VRA learn from the mistakes of the Navrongo Solar Project to ensure improvements on the Pwalugu Solar scheme.
The Siting Committee will deliberate either to give VRA a single permit for both the Hydro and Solar Project or two separate permits for each.