Cote d'Ivoire Inaugurates Chinese-Built Biggest Hydropower Dam

SOUBRE, Cote d'Ivoire, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Cote d'Ivoire on Thursday inaugurated the Chinese-built Soubre hydroelectric power station, the largest of its kind in the West African country.

The 4.5-km-long hydropower dam at Naoua Falls on the Sassandra River, with an installed capacity of 275 megawatts (MW), is expected to increase hydro power in Cote d'Ivoire's energy mix and cement the country's status as a key power producer and supplier in West Africa.

The Soubre project, dormant for several decades due to lack of funding, was launched in February 2013 with funding from China.

One of Soubre's four total generator units started generating electricity in May, about eight months ahead of schedule, according to the builder Sinohydro Corporation Limited, which is under PowerChina.

"The Government of Cote d'Ivoire is very satisfied with the quality and speed of the construction of the Soubre hydroelectric dam," Alassane Ouattara, President of Cote d'Ivoire, said at the inauguration ceremony held in front of the dam.

The president said Cote d'Ivoire is willing to have more cooperation with China.