Within the magnificent Great South region, known for its big open spaces, preserved nature and red soil, the Yaté Dam and its lake are simply gigantic. The dam, 45 metres high and 641 metres long is located 160 metres above sea level. The huge lake is approximately 40 Km2. An impressive and unmissable experience in the South of New Caledonia.
Without nickel, no SLN (Society le Nickel – the main nickel company in New Caledonia) and without the SLN, the Yate dam wouldn’t have been created in 1959. Primarily used to provide power to the SLN factory in Doniambo in Ducos, the dam now supports a 68 MW power station.
The DamVoir plus
A major construction
Aside from the nickel factory ovens, the dam provides (depending on the years) approximately 20 to 30% of all electricity consumed by New Caledonia. Powered by an artificial lake, generators with a capacity of 17 MV each produce an electrical current with a voltage of 8600 volts. It is then raised to 150 KV for easy transport. Indeed, the higher the voltage, the higher the transmission cables section can be reduced. As for the water, it is brought to the power plant via a gallery of 2600 meters long!
The ‘Gigawatt’ race departs from the Yaté dam every year
Anecdotally, the "Gigawatt" a popular race through the red and stony paths of the Great South, departs each year from the Yaté dam. Participants can choose between 10, 20 and 30 km.races. Sunscreen is absolutely compulsory!
The Yaté Lake
For those who love a beautiful photo and great memories of the region, cross the dam towards Yaté, continue for a few kilometers and stop at the lookout (signposted on your left). From here, you will be able to capture a large part of the lake. Regularly, in February / March, the lake has an exceptionally low water level and the landscape is even more special.
For safety reasons and according to the order N ° 2768 of December 31st, 1996:
- bathing is strictly forbidden between the Yaté dam and the Unia bridge
- river crossing is regulated by warning signs which mention the risks connected to the managing of the dam and the instructions to be followed
Especially after heavy rain, the manager must be able to discharge water at any time for hydraulic safety reasons. Bathers would not have time to evacuate the place.