Guinea plans to build a US$2 Billion Hydropower Dam

Conakry, Guinea, Capital Market in Africa — Guinea is in talks with China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) to build a US$2 billion hydropower dam that would boost the West African country’s energy output, according to  Ministry for Energy official, Lansana Fofana.

Lansana Fofana, said the proposed dam would double the country’s energy output, providing new capacity for the expansion of bauxite processing.

“The idea is to feed the mining industry,” Fofana, the head of the two hydropower projects, said in an interview this month during an inspection of the 1,545-meter (5,069-feet) long Kaleta dam. “We want to build refineries for our bauxite. We will even be able to position ourselves as an energy exporter.”

Lansana Fofana, further stated that Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM)has shown interest in financing the new dam project. The EXIM had loaned Guinea three-quarters of the $526 million needed to build the Kaleta Dam, with Guinea’s government funded the balance. The Kaleta project which was completed in July tripled Guinea’s electricity production and boosted efforts to expand grid access to more of the country’s 12 million citizens.

The completion of Kaleta dam has undoubtedly boosted President Alpha Conde’s bid for re-election and raised confidence among foreign investors that the government can put the infrastructure in place for the large-scale exploitation of Guinea’s mineral resources.

Guinea has the world’s biggest reserves of bauxite, which is refined into alumina and then smelted into aluminium, and its mines are the backbone of the $6.6 billion economy. Souapiti will be built on the Konkoure river, about 2 kilometres upstream from Kaleta, with a reservoir big enough for both plants to function even when the river loses most of its flow during the six-month dry season.

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