Niger begins construction of $167m Kandadji Hydroelectric dam

Construction process of the Kandadji hydroelectric project on the Niger River set to cost US $167m, has been officially launched by President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou and works has commenced.

President Mahamadou Issoufou, who has been personally following this project since the eviction of the Russian company Zarubezhvodstroy which had proved unable to carry out the project, said that the project aims at not only boosting Niger’s energy portfolio but also to enhance the economy of the area.

“It is not only a question of producing electricity, but also of regenerating the river’s ecosystem, while creating the conditions for local development. Our growth and development focus here is in the implementation of the Kandadji programme,” said His Excellency.

The Kandadji hydroelectric
The Kandadji hydroelectric dam is built on the Niger River, 150 km from Niamey, the country’s capital. The project is led by the High Commission for the Development of the Niger Valley, an agency attached to the services of the Prime Ministry, Ndlr, as part of the Kandadji Programme, for the regeneration of ecosystems and the development of the Niger River, which flows through several localities in this West African country.

China Gezhouaba Group Company (CGGC) was the company selected to build the dam to be located in southwestern Niger. The work also concerns environmental protection with the displacement and resettlement of populations. The Nigerian president met with Zheng Zufei, the director of CGGC, to ensure that the Chinese company can deliver the project in 2020.

The dam will be 280m high with a length of 8,780m. Its reservoir will cover an area of 282 hectares. Upon completion the dam is projected to produce a capacity of 130MW of power. Much of the water from the dam will be used to run the four turbines of the power plant below. The dam will also be used to irrigate fields and strengthen Niamey’s drinking water supply.

The president also noted that the project will displace 50,000 people from 24 villages. The ecosystem of a large population of hippos and manatees will also be disrupted as these mammals are displaced.

The Kandadji hydroelectric project is being supported by the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the French Development Agency (AFD) together with the Government of Niger.

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