Vinci Grands Projets has broken ground on a 128MW hydroelectric project in the west African state of Senegal.
The 108m-high Sambangalou dam will be located near the town of Kédougou in the country’s southeast. When complete in 2027, it will create a reservoir with around 4 billion cubic metres of water for people to drink and to irrigate some 90,000ha of land.
Vinci signed the €388m contract in December 2020. The client is the Gambia River Basin Development Organisation, a multinational organisation involving Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. Additional funding will come from development banks in Europe, Japan, China, and the Middle East.
The contract stipulates that 1,000 local people will be recruited and trained to work on the scheme.
Three quarters of the project value will go to Vinci Grands Projets and Vinci Construction Terrassement, with the remaining quarter owned by Austrian turbine maker Andritz Hydro.
As part of the deal, a drinking water treatment station will be built and the worksite buildings will be donated to schools. Engineers from the consortium will contribute to classes at Kédougou technical high school.
The preparatory works were launched in late September, including the building of access roads, construction of staff houses for the construction crews, and the erection of Kédougou Bridge.
Vinci comments that the preservation of biodiversity is “an absolute priority” for the project. This includes measures to preserve the habitat of chimpanzees as well as the Niokolo-Koba National Park, one of the last sanctuaries for wild animals in West Africa.