By Akanimo Sampson
In a matter of time, homes in Mali will start to enjoy a steady supply of electricity. The authorities are pursuing their hydroelectric power project assiduously.
Following a recent Gouina hydroelectric power plant project site visit, the Senegalese Minister of Water and Sanitation, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, confirmed considerable progress in the construction of the run-of-the-river-type hydroelectric facility that is currently being constructed on Gouina Falls along the Senegal River in Mali.
Minister Thiam was accompanied by his colleague Aïssatou Sophie Gladima, Minister in charge of Petroleum and Energy, and Lamine Seydou Traoré, Malian Minister of Mines, Energy and ‘Water as well as Hamed Diane Séméga, the high commissioner of the Senegal River Basin Development Organization (OMVS), a regional cooperative management body of the Senegal River that currently includes the Republics of Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal.
The delegate learned that part of the work will be delivered this coming June, and the entire plant later in September this year. The project was initially scheduled for next month but this timeline will be exceeded according to OMVS, owing to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Officially launched on 17 December 2013, the Gouina hydroelectric power plant project is the fourth project to be implemented by the OMVS since its creation back in 1972.
The power plant will have an installed capacity of 140MW and it will use the outflows of the Manantali Dam upstream. A 1,230 m long weir built just above the waterfall will direct water into a channel that will feed the powerhouse, which contains three 46.6 MW Kaplan turbine-generators, downstream of the falls. The difference in elevation between the waterfall and weir will afford a water drop of 22.5 m.
The project also includes the construction of 280 km of transmission lines.
Upon completion, the Gouina hydroelectric power plant will increase electricity production in the four OMVS member states by 52%.