Pow­er­tothep­eo­ple

How hy­dropower for­ever changes the life­style of an Equa­to­rial Guinean vil­lage

ChinAfrica - - Cover Story - By cui Xiao­qin

Be­fore the Dji­ploho Hy­dropower Sta­tion was built, Dji­ploho was a se­cluded for­est vil­lage in Equa­to­rial Guinea. The change has shone a spot­light on the Riow­ele River, now quite lit­er­ally the cen­ter of power.

Liu Bao, Gen­eral Man­ager of the Si­no­hy­dro Bu­reau Six Co. Ltd. of the Power Con­struc­tion Corp. of China and also the Chief Su­per­vi­sor of the Dji­ploho Hy­dropower Sta­tion pro­ject, said the power plant sat­is­fies more than 90 per­cent of the coun­try’s elec­tric­ity de­mand and has pro­moted the coun­try’s in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural growth with the help of the Bata grid.

“Who could have imag­ined that in the des­o­late pri­mary for­est, a group of Chi­nese friends with a love for Equa­to­rial Guinea are con­struct­ing such a grand pro­ject?” asked Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mba­sogo, Pres­i­dent of Equa­to­rial Guinea, at the cor­ner­stone lay­ing cer­e­mony of the power plant in De­cem­ber 2008.

In 2014, the Min­istry of In­dus­try and En­ergy in Equa­to­rial Guinea signed and is­sued the cer­tifi­cate of trans­fer of Dji­ploho Hy­dropower Sta­tion to take over the pro­ject. In the process, Equa­to­rial Guinea be­came one of the first African coun­tries to ben­e­fit from the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive by hav­ing its in­fra­struc­ture built. de­vel­op­ment plan.

Liu’s team paid spe­cial at­ten­tion to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the power plant.

“We placed great em­pha­sis on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion dur­ing our con­struc­tion and our en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment re­port was passed by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,” said Liu. Dur­ing con­struc­tion as few trees as pos­si­ble were cut and all the waste wa­ter un­der­went sed­i­men­ta­tion be­fore be­ing dis­charged. Garbage clas­si­fi­ca­tion was also prac­ticed, said Liu.

The strict en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion mea­sures were wel­comed by lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal com­mu­nity. The Dji­ploho Hy­dropower Sta­tion has now be­come the first hy­dropower sta­tion in Equa­to­rial Guinea to end the coun­try’s re­liance on oil for power gen­er­a­tion, herald­ing the dawn of green en­ergy.

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