Soubre hydroelectric power station in Ivory Coast, which was built by a Chinese company has begun operation.
Amadou Gon Coulibaly, prime minister of Ivory Coast, attended on Friday, the formal opening of the station expected to generate 275MW, according to the Chinese news agency, Xinhua.
Built at a cost of $572million, the construction of the dam in the south western part of the country, began in February 2013. Water from the dam comes from River Sassandra.
The dam started started producing power on 25 May, eighth months ahead of schedule.
It was built by Sinohydro Corporation Limited, which is under PowerChina.
Chinese Ambassador to Cote d’lvoire Tang Weibin said the completion of the power station would greatly improve the power supply in the country, providing solid foundation for the industries, including mining, in the country to develop and injecting vitality into its socioeconomic development in the long run.
“The project also laid foundation for China and Cote d’Ivoire to strengthen their cooperation,” said Tang, who described the power station as an benchmark achievement of the bilateral cooperation.
The power station have won applause from international experts. The hydroelectric project is “of high quality,” said Alexis Tesson, a design engineer with Tractebel Engineering.
Tesson has been working on site for about three years and is in charge of quality control. He applauded the “China speed” displayed in the construction of the power station.
With an installed capacity of 275 MW, the 4.5-km-long Soubre dam is the largest of its kind by far in Ivory Coast
The Chinese government provided 85 per cent of the funding, while Ivory Coast provided 15 percent.
Ivory Coast will sell part of the electricity produced to Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.