Construction of a new 275-MW hydropower project in Ivory Coast could begin by the end of 2012 after China's Export-Import Bank approved a US$556 million loan this week.
The hydroelectric facility, to be located in Soubre, is part of the Ivory Coast's plan to increase its power capacity by 150 MW per year through the next decade.
An official with the country's Ministry of Mines and Energy told wire services that Ivory Coast and Exim Bank have agreed to a 2% interest rate and a nine-year grace period for the 20-year loan.
Ivory Coast says the loan documents should be signed by mid-November. Construction is expected to take five years.