China Export-Import Bank has approved the provision of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars for a 450 megawatt hydroelectric power station in Guinea. The Guinean government hopes that the project will allow it to export electricity to neighboring countries.
In 2007, China Export-Import Bank agreed to finance the construction of the Soapeti hydroelectric power station about 50 kilometers outside Conakry. However, since Guinea experienced a period of political instability, the project has not started construction.
China Hydropower (CWE) began construction of hydropower stations in December 2015. The government said at the time that it was expected to take five years to build.
On March 13, the Guinean government stated in a statement: "The signing of the loan agreement will be carried out soon, which will speed up the construction work already done."
Senior adviser to President Alpha Conte of Guinea said that the loan will be repaid by selling electricity to neighboring countries.
According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, despite the large amount of hydroelectric potential in 12 of Guinea’s major rivers, due to infrastructure failure and poor management, only about a quarter of the population has access to electricity.
Guinea has approximately one-third of the world's bauxite reserves, and its production of aluminum ore has increased in the past few years, but Guineans often complain that mineral resources have not improved living standards.