Congo – President Denis Sassou N’Guesso of the Congo Republic recently inaugurated the Liouesso hydroelectric dam on 29 May 2017.
The dam, built on the Lengouet River some 80km from Ouesso in the north of Congo, will increase the country’s electric power production capacity by 19.2 MW.
In spite of difficult economic conditions in Congo, a few hydroelectric power projects are being developed in the country.
The Liouesso Dam was built in 40 months by a Chinese company, China Gezhouba Group Company Limited, for a total cost of USD110 million.
With its 19.2MW, Liouesso is the second hydroelectric dam built in the northern part of the Congo, after Imboulou with a capacity of 120 MW. The installation of the Liouesso dam brings Congo’s hydroelectric production to 214 MW, nearly half of total national power output. Other power sources of the country are coal and natural gas fired power stations.
In a boost to the oil-producing country’s agriculture and forestry sectors, the the Liouesso dam will also feed electricity to localities such as Pokola and Ngombe, where two large sawmills operate.
“The Liouesso dam will give great productive capacity to the businesses installed in the region,” President Denis Sassou N’Guesso said at the inauguration ceremony.
In recent years the Congo Republic government has made efforts to invest in renewable energy and is making strides to develop the central African country’s infrastructure, mining and forestry sectors.
Hydro power will further help to diversify Congo Republic’s energy mix, as the country, which is the fourth largest crude oil producer in Africa, has largely relied on large scale crude oil production.
Another hydroelectric dam is planned near the Congo/Cameroon border. This dam will be built by the Chinese company Sinohydro, at an estimated cost of USD700 million with the project scheduled to start in 2018. The dam will have an estimated power generation capacity of 600 MW, and the electricity will be divided equally between the two countries.