West Africa’s 554 GWh Gribo-Popoli Hydropower Station in Cote d’Ivoire Commences Commercial Operations

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West Africa’s 554GWh Gribo-Popoli Hydropower Station in Cote d’Ivoire takes shape as its first unit comes to life. The contracted company, Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA), announced that the first unit of the 112.9 MW Gribo-Popoli Hydropower Station has officially entered commercial operations. The hydropower station is on the Sassandra River in the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire’s Soubre province. The project completed a 72-hour trial operation last week, achieving grid connection and power generation ahead of schedule. Furthermore, this success will expedite economic and social development in Cote d’Ivoire. It will also balance income and expenditure in the power sector, significantly improving residents’ livelihoods. Moreover, once completed, the hydropower plant is expected to generate close to 554 GWh annually. This endeavor will position Cote d’Ivoire as a major powerhouse in West Africa.

The Gribo-Popoli Hydropower as One of West Africa’s Anticipated Projects.

Once fully operational, the Gribo-Popoli Hydropower station is expected to benefit not only its host country but its neighbors as well. The project is located downstream from the POWERCHINA-completed Soubre Hydropower Station. The station has three cross-flow units and a storage capacity of 82 million m3. The dam is 4.2 km long with a maximum height of about 18.58 m. Work on the project officially began in August 2021. The project is also being developed by Sinohydro and is currently owned by Societe d’Operation Ivoirienne d’Electricite.

Once put into full operation, the project will help Cote d’Ivoire achieve its dual carbon emission reduction goals. Furthermore, it will facilitate the generation of additional energy to support neighboring countries. The country will enhance its role as a key energy provider in West Africa by providing surplus electricity, benefiting the entire region. For this reason, the project is one that West Africa keenly eyes on its full operationalization.

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The State of Affairs Regarding the Mega Hydropower Project

“This is a key project in the implementation of Cote d’Ivoire’s clean energy development strategy that will make a positive contribution to the expansion of the country’s power supply and foreign exports,” said Gribo-Popoli Hydropower Station General Manager Noumory Sidibe. The Gribo-Popoli project integrates deeply with the local community, providing significant assistance. Moreover, the project team has repaired roads and built primary schools. The repaired road section, crucial for its high traffic, connects St. Mary’s Medical Clinic and the Total Energy gas station. This ensures that the project revolutionizes not only the power industry but also the local infrastructure within the province. The project construction commenced in 2021 and is anticipated to enter into optimal commercial operation by 2027.

Other Significant Energy Projects in West Africa

Apart from the successful power grid implementation of the Gribo-Popoli Hydropower station, West Africa seeks to diversify its energy sources. One of the major energy projects is Mali’s deal with Russia-based Rosatom for a nuclear power plant project. Mali is currently facing an energy crisis that is causing numerous economic downsides. The nation seeks to diversify its energy source other than its reliance on hydroelectric energy as its main power source. Upon completion, the nuclear power plant is expected to facilitate mitigating the nation’s energy crisis. Furthermore, it will facilitate adding more of Mali’s citizens to the grid so they can access cheap and affordable electricity.

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