CAMEROON – The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) US$112.4 million investment in Cameroon’s power sector is starting to bear fruits and is helping the country realise its full energy potential and unshackle itself from the problems of unreliable power supply.
AfDB’s investment was channeled to three power projects in the country in 2010-2011 and the projects are nearly being completed and are expected to provide long-suffering Cameroonians with much more reliable electricity.
AfDB awarded $62.9 million in November, 20111 for the construction of Lom-Pangar, the hydroelectric generation’s ‘lungs’ in the country’s East region.
The project included the construction of a reservoir (6 billion cubic meters of water retained) for regulating the Sanaga’s flow and optimising generation during low water periods at the Song Loulou plant (335 MW) and the Edea plant (224 MW).
The production from these two plants has since grown from 450 MW in 2011 to 729 MW now.
A 30 MW hydroelectric generating plant is under construction at the base of the dam using AfDB funds and it will be linked to the Bertoua thermal plant by a 105 km 90kV line that should start to work in May 2021 following the installation of an evacuation station and the construction of its four turbines.
Lom-Pangar project is expected to provide electricity to 150 locations in the region and will significantly reduce power cuts in the area.
The Lom-Pangar dam which has already been completed will help save water in other reservoirs
The 216 MW capacity Kribi gas-fired generating plant which was also funded by AfDB to a tune of US$32.8 million began to work in 2013 and its production goal is 330 MW.
The 86 MW Dibabmba thermal generating planted in Douala, was the first of the three plants to receive financial support from the AfDB of $25.6 million in April 2010 and is also very important during the dry season.
With an estimated 23,000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second largest hydroelectric potential in Africa and the 18th largest worldwide.
The country has however suffered from notoriously unreliable power supply with the last significant electric system outage, which lasted eight hours, occurred last March and affected several of the country’s regions
The country plans to complete the development of its hydroelectric industries by 2035 and has already secured funds from the AfDB, the World Bank, Proparco and the European Investment Bank for the construction of the 420 MW Nachtigal hydroelectric generating plant which will be complete in about five years.