Hydroelectric Power Plants in West Africa

Akosombo
Location: Ghana
Operator: Volta River Authority
Configuration: 5 X 165 MW Francis
Operation: 1965-1971
T/G supplier: Hitachi, Canadian General Electric
EPC: Kaiser Engineers & Constructors
Quick facts: This is the fourth largest conventional hydro plant in Africa.  The 134m rock-fill dam has a crest-length of 671m and impounds Lake Volta, one of the world's largest reservoirs. Development started in 1949 when the Gold Coast government commissioned Sir William Halcrow & Partners to examine development of the Volta River basin. Work got underway in 1959.  An extensive modernization effort is ongoing for the electro-mechanical equipment.

Photograph courtesy of GLOWA Volta Project
Posted 18 Mar 2006

Banieya
Location: Guinea
Operator: Electricite de Guinee
Configuration: 2 X 2.6 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1988
T/G supplier: Listroj, Koncar

Photograph courtesy of Koncar
Posted 3 Oct 2004

Bui
Location: Ghana
Operator: Bui Power Authority
Configuration: 3 X 133 MW Francis
Operation: 2013
T/G supplier: Tianjin Alstom Hydro
EPC: Sinohydro, Coyne et Bellier
Quick facts: The Bui Gorge on the Black Volta River was first identified as a potential hydropower site in the 1920s and since 1956, five technical site investigations were undertaken, including one in 1995 by Coyne et Bellier. The dam is 150km upstream of Lake Volta where the Black Volta constitutes the border between the districts of Bole (Northern Region) and Wenchi (Brong-Ahafo Region). The 40km reservoir is entirely within Ghana. Three new 161kV transmission lines run eastward to the existing Techiman-Wa line, and then south to substations at Kumasi and Techiman. Bui is a complex project, made more difficult by the need for simultaneous development and implementation of a management plan for the Bui Natl Park, which includes most of the reservoir area. In July 2001, Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana published the final Bui EIA. In Nov 2005, the government signed an MOU with SinoHydro for the EPC work. Construction on the main 90m RCC dam began in Dec 2009 and the first unit came online in May 2013. The plant cost about $622mn.

Photograph courtesy of Bui Power Authority
Posted 21 Jan 2012

Bumbuna
Location: Sierra Leone
Operator: Bumbuna Hydroelectric Co Ltd
Configuration: 2 X 25 MW Francis
Operation: 2009
T/G supplier: Ganz, Coemsa
EPC: Studio Ing G Pietrangeli, Salini Construttori
Quick facts: On 27 Jul 2009, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma launched test operations at Bumbuna in Tonkolili District in the Sula Mountains about 200km northeast of Freetown. Development started in 1975 but there was a 12yr interruption caused by the country's civil conflict. The African Development Bank supplied about a third of the $327mn investment. A 161kV line was built to deliver power to the capital. A second 110-MW phase is planned, but this could cost $520mn.

Photograph courtesy of www.sierraeye.net
Posted 24 Oct 2010

Djibloho
Location: Equatorial Guinea
Operator: Sociedad de Electricidad de Guinea Ecuatorial
Configuration: 4 X 30 MW Francis
Operation: 2012
T/G supplier: Chongqing
EPC: Sinohydro
Quick facts: Project construction began in Mar 2008 and the plant was inagurated in Oct 2012. A 220kV substation was built in conjunction with the power station. The EG government funded the Djibloho scheme with assiatance from the Chinese government.

Photograph courtesy of www.guineaecuatorialpress.com
Posted 29 Sep 2010

Donkea
Location: Guinea
Operator: Electricite de Guinee
Configuration: 2 X 7.5 MW Francis
Operation: 1969
T/G supplier: Listroj, Koncar
EPC: Energoprojekt, HIB Cyprus
Quick facts: This is part of a three-plant complex on the Samou River about 90km from Conakry. Partial financing was obtained from KfW. In 2006, VA TECH Hydro and E.R.A. I signed a contract to replace the speed governing systems with new digital equipment.

Photograph courtesy of Koncar
Posted 3 Oct 2004

Edea
Location: Cameroon
Operator: AES Sonel
Configuration: 3 X 11.4 MW Francis, 6 X 21.9 MW, 5 X 20 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1954-1975
T/G supplier: Voest, Alsthom-Jeumont
Quick facts: In 1948, Energie Electrique du Cameroun (Enelcam) was formed to develop the country’s first commercial-scale hydroelectric plant at Edea on the Sanaga River and the plant was initially completed in two phases, 35 MW in 1954 and 122 MW in 1958. In Dec 2008, Andritz was contracted to replace three sets at Edea-I including mechanical and electrical auxiliaries.

Photograph courtesy of idapo.com
Posted 25 Jun 2008

Felou
Location: Mali
Operator: OMVS - Organisation de la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal
Configuration: 3 X 21-MW bulb
Operation: 2013
T/G supplier: Harbin
EPC: Sinohydro No 14
Quick facts: In Jul 2006, the World Bank approved three $25mn IDA credits to implement the Felou hydropower project near Kayes. OMVS and SOGEM were the project leads and the grants were made to Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. The Felou HPP is part of an integrated regional development plan under the auspices of the West African Power Pool (WAPP). The site is about 15km from the existing transmission line from Manantali-Bamako transmission line and is connected to a new 225kV line running to Kaoleck in Senegal. The $115mn project is jointly-funded with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Felou was inaugurated in Dec 2013 and should supply about 325 GWh/yr to the regional grid.

Photograph courtesy of OMVS
Posted 12 Apr 2014

Felou Weir
Location: Mali
Operator: Energie du Mali
Configuration: 680 kW
Operation: 1927
T/G supplier: ??
Quick facts: This SHP was removed when the new Felou plant was built.

Photograph by Brian McMorro
Posted 24 Jan 2009

Garafiri
Location: Guinea
Operator: Electricite de Guinee
Configuration: 3 X 25 MW Francis
Operation: 1999
T/G supplier: CGE, GEC-Alsthom
EPC: EDF, Coyne et Bellier, Salini Construttori
Quick facts: Garafiri is near Souapiti on the Konkoure River. Planning got underway in 1984 and the site and feasibility studies were carried out by EDF International and Coyne et Bellier. In Jun 1989, the Guinean government gave the consortium the responsibility for detailed design and the drafting of tender documents. Most of this contract was financed by the Caisse Centrale de Cooperation Economique Francaise. Ultimately a rockfill dam with a storage capacity of 1.6bn m³ and a powerhouse were built at a cost of about $200mn. Garafiri suffered a variety of mechanical problems, including a serious breakdown in 2002, but the generating equipment has subsequently been refurbished.

Photograph courtesy of L’Institut de recherche pourle développement
Posted 10 Jan 2009

Grand Poubara
Location: Gabon
Operator: Societe d'Energie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG)
Configuration: 4 X 40 MW Francis
Operation: 2013
T/G supplier: Toshiba Hydro Power (Hangzhou)
EPC: Sinohydro
Quick facts: In Nov 2008, the foundation stone was laid for the Grand Poubara HPP upstream of the Poubara waterfalls on the Ogooue River, 15km from Franceville. The project has a 37m tall RCC dam. The river diversion was completed in Nov 2010 and the plant commissioned on 5 Aug 2013, about 3mos past schedule. China Exim Bank supplied most of the financing for the CFA 280bn project. Gauff GmbH & Co Engineering KG served as an engineering and construction management advisor. Two transmission lines were built, a 62km, 225kV line to the Moanda ferromanganese plant and a 21km, 115kV line to Franceville, the two main urban areas in the province of Upper Ogooue.

Photograph courtesy of Power Construction Corp of China
Posted 29 Aug 2013

Kinguele
Location: Gabon
Operator: Societe d'Energie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG)
Configuration: 2 X 9.6 MW, 2 X 19.2 MW Francis
Operation: 1973-1978
T/G supplier: Neyrpic, Vevey, Alsthom-Jeumopnt
Quick facts: This dam in Kinguele is located on the Mbei River.

Photograph courtesy of BP Etudes
Posted 24 Jul 2013

Manantali
Location: Mali
Operator: Societe de Gestion de l Energie de Manantali (OMVS)
Configuration: 5 X 40 MW Kaplan
Operation: 2002
T/G supplier: Sulzer
EPC: Tractebel, Tecsult, Fichtner
Quick facts: This power station is on a concrete irrigation dam completed in 1992 on the Senegal River. The dam has a 1,500m crest and a maximum height of 66m. The tender for the powerhouse project was issued in Sep 1993 and the turbines were ordered in 1996. The scheme includes two 225-kV transmission lines, one to Bamako and one to Dakar plus a 132kV transmission line to Nouakchott, substations and a dispatching center. Funding was from the World Bank the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and assorted donors in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. At the time of the initial loans, the total cost for the completion of the hydroelectric power station and transmission system was estimated at $444mn. Later reports put the cost at more like $500mn. In July 2001, Eskom Enterprises signed a 15yr operation for Manantali. Mali receives 52% of the energy generated, Senegal 33%, and Mauritania 15%. The first turbine was put online in late 2001.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom Enterprises
Posted 26 Jan 2002

Mount Coffee
Location: Liberia
Operator: Liberia Electricity Corp
Configuration: 4 X 15 MW Francis
Operation: 1966-1975
T/G supplier: Allis Chalmers, BBC
EPC: Stanley Consultants, Raymond Concrete Pile Co
Quick facts: This plant is on the St Paul River and was extensively damaged and put out of service during the First Liberian Civil War and subsequent fighting. The plant is also known as Walter F Walker. It was built with a $24.3mn loan from the World Bank. A second phase with two 52-MW units was never started. The government hopes to rebuild the plant and a study funded by the US Trade and Development Agency found that the cost could be as much as $380mn leading to proposals to privatize the facility. The rehab project again became a matter of discussion in 2011.

Photograph courtesy of West Africa Power Pool
Posted 7 Jan 2009

Nangbeto
Location: Togo
Operator: Communaute Electrique du Benin (CEB)
Configuration: 2 X 33 MW Kaplan
Operation: 1987
T/G supplier: Sulzer, Siemens
EPC: Sogreah, Hochtief

Photograph courtesy of Hochtief AG
Posted 6 Mar 2005

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 12-Apr-2014

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