275-MW Soubre hydropower plant is commissioned in West Africa

The US$572 million 275-MW Soubre hydroelectric power station located at Naoua Falls on the Sassandra River near the city of Soubre in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) was commissioned last week, according to the project’s developer.

According to China’s state-owned Global Times, Power Construction Corp. of China (Power China), which developed the plant, announced its commissioning on Friday, June 30. China’s Sinohydro Corp. Ltd. constructed the project, which was 85% financed by Export-Import Bank of China and 15% by Cote d’Ivoire.

Power China said work on the project began in February 2013 and the project’s 4.5-km long Soubre Dam is the largest of its kind in the West African country. The project is expected to annually generate about 1,190 GWh and provide 90% of the country’s electricity.

Cote d’Ivoire already has six hydropower stations and four more are planned as part of a national policy to reach a capacity of 4,000 MW by 2020.

In September 2015, HydroWorld.com reported Hydroneo Afrique and African Infrastructure Investment Managers partnered to facilitate the development of a pipeline of small plants in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mozambique and other countries. The companies said the plants will better serve the growing energy demands across Africa and facilitate the long-term economic growth and competitiveness of the continent.

In April, African Development Bank (AfDB), which manages the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) that includes funding hydropower projects, appointed Ousseynou Nakoulima to work out of its headquarters in Abidjan as its director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Also in April, SEFA announced it approved a US$992,000 grant for the 7.8-MW Mutunguru hydropower project located on the Mutonga River in Meru County, Kenya.

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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