Hydropower currently accounts for approximately 32 per cent of total installed capacity in Côte d’Ivoire, and is responsible for 16 per cent of total electricity generated in the country. The country still has a vast amount of untapped resources, specifically concerning hydropower and solar generation.
A study by Électricité de France in 1980 put the theoretical potential of hydropower at 46 TWh/year, with an economically exploitable potential of approximately 12.4 TWh.
Côte d’Ivoire’s growing economy is putting the power supply network under pressure, and the government is targeting an increase in overall generating capacity from 2,000 MW to 4,000 MW by 2020. This growth is expected to be reached by using a mix of gas-fired generation and hydroelectric power, and the expansion will be mostly driven by the private sector.
As part of the enhancing private sector engagement, foreign investment has been a feature of the Ivorian electricity market for a quarter of a century. This dates back to the privatisation that created the Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE), the power supplier and distributor at the heart of the sector.
Eranove, the company that now owns a majority stake in CIE, also owns Ciprel, one of the country’s independent power producers. Overall, Côte d’Ivoire has developed and maintained a vigorous regulatory framework for the power sector that has encouraged investor confidence. In order to sustain investments, the energy ministry has approved higher tariffs, enabling flat costs for poorer domestic users while raising prices up to 10 per cent for the largest industrial users.
Developing sustainable energy through renewable and other new sources is one of the focus areas of the government’s 2011–30 Strategic Development Plan.
The government has set targets to reach 34 per cent of renewable energy by 2020 and to increase energy efficiency in industry by 25 per cent by 2030.
In its strategic plan for the development of the electricity sector by 2030, the Côte d’Ivoire Government identified 66 projects that will require significant private-sector investment, including through public–private partnerships with independent power producers.
Overall, the country aims to expand generation capacity and modernise the nationwide transmission and distribution of electricity.
Côte d’Ivoire’s largest hydropower facilities include projects such as the Buyo Dam (165 MW), Kossou Dam (174 MW) and Taabo Dam (210 MW), and several others. There are also plans to build additional dams in Louaga (283 MW), Boutoubré (156 MW) and Tiboto (220 MW). The country is currently constructing its biggest hydropower facility – the Soubré hydropower dam (275 MW), which is located upstream around the natural falls of the Sassandra River, and has been predominantly supported by Chinese funding. The project is expected to come online in 2017, a year earlier than anticipated.
Singrobo (44 MW), which is being primarily funded by the African Finance Corporation (AFC), is due to come online in 2020. The Gribo Popoli (112 MW) project is due to come online in 2021.
Regionally, Côte d’Ivoire considers itself as one of the most significant players in the pan-regional West African Power Pool, with further plans for interconnections to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea currently under consideration. Electricity in Côte d’Ivoire is currently exported to Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali and Togo.
This country profile is featured in the 2017 Hydropower Status Report. You can download the full report here.
This profile was last updated in May 2017.