CONAKRY, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A contract of 526 million U. S. dollars between the China Water and Electric Company (CWE) and the Guinean government for the construction of a dam was signed in the West African country's capital Conakry, officials disclosed here on Monday.
According to Deputy Director of the CWE Li Li, the construction of the dam will last 24 months. She pledged that it will be a dam to meet the needs of Guineans.
Guinean Minister of Energy Papa Koly Koroma, who signed the contract on behalf of the government, said the CWE was rewarded the contract because of its reputations of being able to build standard dams.
President Alpha Conde and his government have been facing the challenge of power shortages in Conakry and elsewhere in the country since elected months ago.
According to the minister of energy, all five generators supplying Conakry with electricity are outdated machines. Out of the five generators, only two are operational, while the three others have broken down without repairs.
The new dam will be built in a town called Kaleta in the region of Kindia, about 150 km from Conakry.
Once the Kalete project is completed, it will meet the urgent need of power supply in Conakry.
One of President Conde's election campaign slogans was to give 24-hour electricity supply to Conakry.
Technicians at the Guinean electricity company say the new government inherited a dilapidated system. They attributed the breakdown of the machines to lack of proper maintenance and spare parts.
They say the only solution to resolve the electricity crisis is the building of a dam. The idea was taken by the government despite the high cost.
The government initially disbursed more than 1 million dollars to repair some of the machines, but the progress was limited.
The president accused the management of the Guinean electricity company of failing to improve the supply of power to inhabitants of Conakry.
Conde has sacked several Conakry electricity company managers and replaced them with Guineans from companies abroad.
All five generators were bought in the 1950s and have never been changed to meet the current standard of the people of Conakry.