Foundation ceremony for cross-border energy project

On February 4, 2017, the foundation ceremony for West Africa's largest energy project was celebrated at the Kaleta power station in Guinea. The overall project, in which GAUFF Engineering supported the developers as technical assistant (ATMO), includes the construction of the hydroelectric power plant in Sambangalou as well as the high-voltage lines and related infrastructure. Kaleta, too, will be connected to the new cross-border distribution network. Prof. Alpha Condé, president of Guinea and acting president of the African Union, laid the foundation stone in a solemn celebration also in the name of the presidents of the three other states involved in the project, namely Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. He then unveiled a plaque commemorating the beginning of this important project.

Kaleta is located about 125 km northeast of the capital, Conakry, as the crow flies and can be reached from there over well-developed roads within approximately three and a half hours. Many politicians and representatives from business and the media gladly undertook this journey in order to be present at the start of this important project. The overall costs of US $1.2 billion (including the future dam) are financed jointly by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the German Development Loan Corporation (KfW), and five other internationally active financial institutions.

In his speech, Prof. Alpha Condé not only expressed his joy in the beginning of the implementation phase of the project, but also especially pointed out the good cooperation with the financing banks and thanked them for enabling the realisation of the project. The OMVG High Commissioner, El Hadj Lansana Fofana, then thanked all those involved in the realisation and stressed particularly the commitment of GAUFF Engineering as the technical assistant of the developer, the Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Gambie (OMVG, Gambia River Basin Development Organization).

OMVG is a cross-border organization of the West African states of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau which has been pursuing the goal to use the natural resources of the Gambia River and has realised cross-border projects suitable for this since the 1980s. With the current project, all of the states represented in OMVG will be also connected physically via 1,700 km of high-voltage lines in a ring structure for the first time.

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