Two new hydroelectricity facilities to jointly produce 1100MW of electricity annually would be built on the Sanaga River, government announced last week. A memorandum of understanding was signed in Yaounde earlier this month between the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy, and Hydromine, the American company that will realize the projects.
Basil Atangana Nkouna, minister of Water Resources and Energy signed for his ministry while Hydromine’s chairman and CEO, Peter L Briger represented his corporation.
The two facilities to be built in Mouséré in the Northern part of the country and Eweng in the Center Region would also facilitate the creation of an aluminium smelter business that would produce about 500,000 tons per year, it was announced during the signing.
Atangana Nkouna said these projects together with the ongoing hydro power ventures around the country would provide low cost energy and move the country towards industrialization as Cameroon plans to start transforming its raw materials into finished goods.
According to Mr. Briger, the Mouséré hydro station with a yearly capacity of 200 MW would regulate and increase the flow of water to other downstream hydroelectric facilities on the Sanaga River which carries at least three hydroelectric plants including the Lom Panga facility and the would be Grand Eweng plant.
Hydromine’s spokesperson also announced that it has already partnered with a Bahrainian cable producing company, Midal Cables ltd. which will process aluminum produced from the hydro projects to provide electricity transmission cables and rods that will be used in conveying electricity to different parts of the country and beyond.
Besides the aluminum smelter company, Midal Cables would also build an aluminum cable and rod production outfit in Cameroon and has agreed to take 20% of the proposed annual 500,000 tons of aluminum, Mr. Briger said.
“In Cameroon, like Rome, projects of this type cannot be built in a day” he added, pointing out that it would take them at least 18 months to complete feasibility studies in these areas before proper construction commences.
The two projects are estimated to cost about 900 billion CFAF which funding will come from government and other partners. Mr. Briger said the African development Bank has expressed its support to see the projects through. The initiative adds up to the five hydroelectricity projects already underway in the country aimed at bringing electricity to every household by 2035. It is government’s plan under the ‘2035 Vision’ as Cameroon struggles to become an emerging economy by then.
The plan also carries other long term electricity projects that would enable the smooth operation of industries as government plans to open industrial zones around the country. President Biya would launch the Mekin hydro plant in the days ahead.