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China Daily / 2022-06 / 08 / Page007

Hydropower station boosts Mali's electricity supply by at least a fifth

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2022-06-08 00:00

The 72-hour trial operation of Unit 3 of the Gouina hydropower station project conducted by Power-China in Mali was completed on April 6.

So far, all three units have been put into production and power generation, and the project has fully entered the commercial operation period.

Lamine Seydou Traore, Mali's minister of mines, energy and water resources, said: "After the operation of the hydropower station, Mali's electricity supply will increase by 20-25 percent. It is the largest engineering project undertaken by China in Mali."

The hydropower station is a large-scale infrastructure construction project in West Africa as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. The project is funded by the Export-Import Bank of China.

The power station is located on the Senegal River in Mali, with a dam height of 19 meters, a total length of 1,317 meters, and a storage capacity of 136 million cubic meters.

The three axial-flow hydro-generator units were designed with a total installed capacity of 140 megawatts and a maximum annual power generation of 620 million kilowatt hours.

The project officially started on Nov 15, 2016. After the first unit was put into operation on March 16 this year, all three units were put into operation and power generation within a month.

The hydropower station will provide more clean and green power resources for Mali, Senegal and Mauritania and promote the win-win development of countries in the West African region.

Under the guidance of the BRI, PowerChina will adhere to the concept of joint consultation, co-construction and sharing, and continuously leverage the brand value and industrial chain advantages of PowerChina to serve global clean energy, water resources and environmental governance and infrastructure construction.

While the project progresses, PowerChina is fulfilling its social responsibilities in terms of environment, employment and medical care.

During the construction process, the project took a number of measures to control the discharge of pollutants such as sewage, waste gas and solid waste.

For example, domestic sewage must be tested before it is discharged, and workers spray water into the construction area's air every day to reduce dust.

In addition, the repair shop has built a sewage sedimentation tank, and the mixing workshop has installed a dust-removing fog gun. The project also assigns supervisors to regularly inspect the construction area and prevent the burning of waste.

PowerChina is committed to boosting the economic and social development of the region. Since 2016, the Gouina project has created nearly 3,000 jobs.

About 86 percent of the power station construction workers are Malians.

The project strictly follows Mali's labor laws and regulations, pays workers monthly wages, and provides additional benefits such as vacation and social security.

Taking into account the harsh living conditions in Mali, the project built a camp with 230 brick houses for its Malian employees.

The camp is equipped with a market and a range of fitness facilities to meet the different needs of workers.

PowerChina gives priority to suppliers and producers in Mali when purchasing steel, timber and other building materials.

This not only reduces costs and improves work efficiency, but promotes local economic development and enhances corporate social responsibility.

In 2021, the amount of local material procurement for the Gouina project in Mali was about 132.54 million yuan ($19.86 million).

In order to ensure people's safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the project camp is thoroughly disinfected twice a day.

To enter or leave the camp, all employees need to have their temperature checked. The company also regularly distributes medical masks, hand sanitizers and other antivirus supplies to employees.

PowerChina said that overseas projects not only represent the company itself, but represent the overall image of PowerChina and even Chinese companies to an extent.

To this end, while focusing on the construction of the Gouina hydropower station, it has always been committed to strengthening the overseas publicity of the project, and cooperating with the local government.


The hydropower station is a large-scale infrastructure construction project in West Africa as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. CHINA DAILY



Representatives visit the site in Mali. CHINA DAILY



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