The photo taken on March 6 shows a ceremony to mark the "impoundment" of the Soubre hydroelectric dam. (Xinhua/PowerChina)
ABIDJAN, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Soubre hydroelectric dam, the largest of its kind in Cote d'Ivoire and being built by a Chinese company, has entered its final stage of construction before officially initiating electricity generation later in the year.
The dam constructed by PowerChina is in the process of "impoundment," a technical operation of gradually closing the floodgates' valves so as to allow water levels to rise, explained Ballet Maxime, head of mission of Cote d'Ivoire's CI-Energies.
The photo taken on March 6 shows a panoramic view of the Soubre hydroelectric dam. (Xinhua/PowerChina)
Zhang Long, assistant to the Soubre project manager of PowerChina, said the operation is scheduled to take a 23-day run, after which a test of generators will be conducted before the dam will officially start generating electricity.
"Today's impoundment means the beginning of the countdown to the production of electricity through the dam," Zhang said.
Launched on February 25, 2013, the project benefited from financing support from the Chinese Import-Export Bank and the Chinese government. The cost of the project is approximately 571 million U.S. dollars, of which 85 percent percent is financed by China and 15 percent by Cote d'Ivoire.
With an installed capacity of 275 MW and an annual output of 1,100 gigawatt hours (GWH), the 4.5 km long Soubre dam is among the most powerful and largest power generation centers in the sub-region.