And then there was light… a dream come true! / Et la lumière fut! Un rêve devenu réalité…

We lived in darkness without an exit door, we were desperate. When as if by magic came a hero which drove away the darkness in our city. It is called Kaleta.

Kaleta was a dream for the government for thirty years. After a lot of statistics and studies and calculations, the government decided to invest money in the project. Guineans decided to collaborate with French and Chinese companies for the construction. The companies who participated in the construction of the Kaleta dam are CIW (China International Water and Electricity Corporation).

the dam of kaleta / le barrage de Kaleta

Kaleta was built between 2013 an 2015, in 3 years and a half instead of 4 years and a half. It is the first big dam in Guinea and there will be a second one soon. Kaleta is located more than 70 km away from Conakry. In the plant there are 8 levels underground and the dam is 53 meters high.

In the control room, there are computers and screens which are necessary to control all the machines, such as the alternators, the turbines and the alternators.

shaft of the turbine / arbre de la turbine

The alternator is
used to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. The transformer can be used to change the voltage of the current. A hydraulic turbine is a rotating machine that produces mechanical energy from moving water (stream or tide) or potentially moving (dam). It is the essential component of hydroelectric power plants to produce electricity from a water flow.

Today, the electricity that is produced is not enough for the whole country. The Guineans need roughly 270 megawatts on the network. During the rainy season (from June to September), there is a lot of water, but during the dry season there is less water. So the dam cannot work at full capacity. Today in Kaleta only 2 turbines are working, they produce between 100 and 150 megawatts. The power of the dam depends on the quantity of water.

location of the Souapiti dam / site du barrage de Souapiti

A second dam will soon be built to supply Kaleta with a constant flow of water and to produce more electricity for the whole country. Guinea will then sell energy to neighboring countries. That second dam will be called Souapiti.


Abstract / Résumé

Kaleta un rêve devenu réel

Un projet conçu en 2013 et terminé en 2015. Aujourd’hui la centrale de Kaleta nourrit une partie de la Guinée en électricité, cette source est située au village de Kaleta dont le barrage tient son nom. Le fonctionnement des machines comme les générateurs, les turbines, est contrôlé par de nombreux ordinateurs depuis la salle de contrôle. Kaleta ne peut pas fournir assez d’énergie pour alimenter toute la Guinée. Elle a besoin d’une forte pression pour faire fonctionner les 3 turbines, ce qui est uniquement possible pendant la saison de pluie. Un nouveau barrage est en cours de construction, qui alimentera aussi Kaleta en eau, donc il permettra a Kaléta de produire plus d’électricité. Ce nouveau barrage se trouve à Souapiti.

Written by / écrit par

Mariam, Alice, Salematou et Tess

GIVE ME A DAMN DAM / Et 1, et 2, et 3 barrages!

AFTER 3 years of hard work, 3 years of blood, sweat and tears, we have finally reached our goal… the dam of kaleta !

It is in guinea , in the sector of kaleta . It is the biggest (for now !) dam of guinea. It is long and it holds 23 million of cubic meters of water and it can produce 240 megawatts at its maximum capacity.

the dam of Kaleta / le barrage de Kaleta

The dam of Kaleta is located in the sector of Kaleta. It was a project that was waited for a very long time and it finally came true ! Not only does it give electricity but it decreases our use of generators, so it means less pollution !  It is a hydroelectric water tank dam. It cost 446 million dollars ! « never a dam of this capacity had been made in such time » has affirmed the minister of energy and hydraulics who added that « 2500 young Guineans and 850 Chinese worked together on this project ».

The dam of Kaleta is related to the Souapiti dam which is still in construction. This dam will create an artificial lake, a huge water tank. Its plant will produce 450 megawatts and the dam will enable Kaleta to operate at its full capacity all year long.

To illustrate the potential of Souapiti, we can compare it to the dam of Serre-ponçon. They both have the same functions like the production of hydroelectricity or tanking water.

the dam of Serre Ponçon / barrage de Serre Ponçon

But the dam of Serre-Ponçon has one function that the dam of Souapiti has not yet : agricultural irrigation. But we’ll get there ! This would be very helpful in Guinea because there are a lot of fields of exotic fruits and vegetables. It is very important to develop the agriculture and the natural potential of Guinea because it is not enough exploited. With the construction of the artificial lake, they could also install a new touristic site so that the country of Guinea would be more popular in West Africa. Also with the creation of the artificial lake, the possibility of pisiculture would be great.

Now, the Thames barrier is the second biggest barrier against  water floods; it is in London, on the Thames. Contrary to kaleta, it doesn’t produce electricity: it fights water floods.

The barrier is located in Wool Wich in London it is 520 meters long and has 10 portals made out of steel. Thanks to this dam, London has escaped many floods. It also protects the city from very high tides and storms.

The Thames barrier / la barrière de la Tamise

Thames barrier

The dam of Kaleta is just a first step but when Souapiti will be done the Country of Guinea will be unstoppable !

Abstract / Résumé :


Le barrage de kaleta est un barrage qui est situé en Guinée. C’est un barrage Hydroélectrique qui produit 240 mégawatts et a couté 446 millions de dollars. Il est relié au barrage Souapiti qui est toujours en construction et qui créera un lac artificiel et une énorme retenue d’eau. Il produira 450 mégawatts et pourra alimenter le barrage de kaleta à ca capacité maximum. Dans cette article nous avons comparé le barrage de Kaleta au barrage de Serre-Ponçon et au barrage de la Tamise ; En comparant, nous avons aussi proposé des idées de développement de la guinée.

Thank you for your attention.

Written By / Écrit par

Karen ,Anna-belle, Sarah.

Souapiti, THE big dam/ LE grand barrage

Rejoice men of Guinea ! Soon you will be able to watch a classico without being interrupted by a power cut ! What is going to make this miracle possible ?

The dam of Souapiti will create an artificial lake of 6.3 billions of m3. Its construction will be completed in 2020.

Needs in electricity in Guinea today are equivalent to 240 MW on average and 270 MW during peak hours on the interconnected network. For the moment the dam of Kaleta can produce 100 to 240 MW. Souapiti will provide an extra 450 MW, and will allow Kaleta to be supplied by a regular flow of water, thus to work at full capacity.

The location of the future dam of Souapiti / site du futur barrage de Souapiti

The  dam of Souapiti is being built by a Chinese society CWE (the China international water and electricity company) and the works  will cost 1,400,000,000$. 15% will be paid by the Guinean state and the rest will be borrowed from a Chinese bank (Exim bank). The dam of Souapiti is under construction on the river of the Konkoure.

One difficulty encountered in the construction of the dam of Souapiti was the removal of people. To relocate these people, two new villages have been created with brand new housing, electricity for 1500 people. The relocation of people took place peacefully.

The village of the workers, very similar to the new villages / Le village des travailleurs, très similaire aux nouveaux villages

Guinea will possibly sell 30% of the production of Souapiti to neighboring countries or Guinea will sell 165 MW,  to Senegal (20%), Guinea Bissau (6%), and Gambia (4%). Which could represent  2 to 10 millions Euros a year.

Souapiti will solve the electricity problem in Guinea… If the barrage is correctly kept the daily life of Guineans will be way better and easier.

Even the government will have benefits in it, Souapiti will be a major source of revenue for Guinea’s economy.

Abstract / Résumé :

Le barrage de Souapiti est en construction par la société chinoise CWE pour combler le manque d’électricité en Guinée. Le barrage de Souapiti entrainera la création d’un  lac artificiel de 6 milliards m3. Il sera achevé en 2020. Le barrage de Souapiti est en construction sur la rivière du Konkouré.  Il fournira à la Guinée 450 MW et il permettra au barrage de Kaleta situé en aval de produire davantage d’électricité.

Les travaux du barrage coûteront 1 milliard 400 millions de dollars. La Guinée payera 15% et le reste sera prêté par une banque chinoise. La Guinée pourra ensuite probablement vendre jusqu’à 30% de la production de Souapiti à ses pays limitrophes.

Souapiti règlera bientôt la plupart des problèmes d’électricité Guinéens.

written by / écrit par

Noah ALAO, Radi CHAIB, and Kalil BOUZIGUES

Photos: Christine Soumah