Hell without electricity / L’enfer sans electricité

You are watching Secret Story,  one of your favorite shows, you are on the edge of your seat to see what is going to happen between Anaïs and Darko and all of a sudden… POP ! The electricity cuts off ! Why, oh Why ???

To begin with, you must know that in Guinea, electricity is mostly produced by big generators and by the Kaleta hydroelectric plant. Kaleta pumps out 300,000 volts. During the rainy season Kaleta can produce up to 240 megawatts but during the dry season Kaleta can only produce 160 megawatts at its maximum capacity. So Kaleta produces less energy during the dry season.

The 3 generators of Kaleta / Hall des générateurs à Kaleta

Moreover, since 2015, (when Kaleta was completed), the energy consumption in Guinea has doubled. To provide extra energy to the capital, especially during the dry season, the Guinean Government has to use huge fuel generators. They emit a lot of pollution into the environment. Man-produced C02 is causing global warming, it is now known with high certainty and it has been confirmed by observations. More shockingly, those who contribute the least to greenhouse gases emissions, developing countries like Guinea, will be most impacted by climate change. So it is important to adopt clean sources of energy in Guinea. In addition, to fuel these big generators you need gas, the price of a liter of gas is 8921,76 GNF, approximately  90 cents. It is very costly for the government.

There are also serious problems of energy distribution in Guinea. The energy produced in Kaleta needs to be carried and distributed to Conakry…

Powerlines at Kaleta /Lignes à haute tension à Kaleta

In Guinea the electricity distribution causes a serious problem to the population because the materials are old and most of all the powerlines are much older compared to the ones you can see at Kaleta.

Yet progress is being made, because Guinea will soon have too much energy when the dam of Souapiti is operational in 2020.

A view of Souapiti, near Kaleta / vue de Souapiti, près de Kaleta

Guinea will then have the opportunity to export electricity to neighboring countries with wires. Electricity allows a strong economic development because it allows the industries to be able to settle inside the country thanks to the energy to develop their activities at prices much cheaper than if we use generators.

Guinea has 23 watersheds and 14 are shared with neighboring  countries. Most of the great rivers take their source on Guinean soil. The construction of the dams allows  countries to control the flow of water. An electric power station is an industrial site intended for the production of electricity. The electric power station by means of the electricity network, is ensured there by the conversation in electrical energy of primary energy, a primary energy which can be mechanical(force of wind, force of the water of the tidal rivers).

Soon Guinea will be an electric heaven!

Abstract / Résumé

En Guinée l’électricité est principalement produite par de grands générateurs et par la centrale hydraulique Kaleta.

Le barrage de Kaleta  distribue de l’électricité en Guinée. On peut dire que le barrage est un élément important pour le pays. Il est utile pour le pays mais malheureusement c’est  insuffisant pour alimenter tout le pays tant que le barrage de Souapiti ne sera pas achevé.

Written by / écrit par:

Sofia Rose, Kadiatou, Nagham, Matour

Photos: Christine Soumah

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.