Ivory Coast in talks with Sinohydro for more dams

ABIDJAN • China’s Sinohydro Corp may build three additional hydroelectric plants in Ivory Coast after completing what will be the nation’s biggest dam by October, according to a government official.

The combined capacity of the three plants may be as much as 500MW, adding to the 275MW that will be supplied by the Soubre dam once it’s completed, said Brahima Dosso, the director of the Soubre project at CI-Energies, a state-owned company.

The US$592 million (RM2.53 billion) Soubre dam on the Sassandra river, in the western region, is one of the flagship projects of President Alassane Ouattara, who has vowed to boost the country’s energy supply, already the most reliable in West Africa, to maintain high economic growth. Total installed power capacity is currently almost 2,000MW. Plans for the Soubre dam date back to the 1960s.

The project “has been a dream for more than 30 years,” Dosso said. “The first studies were done in 1962 and everything was ready in 1982. It will be very satisfying to see it finally completed” in October, he said.

At the same time, the go- vernment is in advanced discussions with the Beijing- based company for a 112MW dam in Gribo Popoli on the Sassandra river, Dosso said in an Aug 18 interview in the commercial capital, Abidjan. The Export-Import Bank of China has agreed in principle to fund the project, which is due to start in October and will take about 40 months, he said. — Bloomberg