The original report was published in The Independent on Monday, November 7, 2011
Memve’Ele, Nachtigal, Bini a Warak and Song-Mbenge
Memve’Ele on the Ntem River (201 MW)
In the middle of the equatorial rainforest, the 115ft Memve’ele Falls located on the Ntem River in southeastern Cameroon is where a successful feasibility analysis of the hydroelectric potential of the site was carried out back in 1993. Since then, a service agreement was signed in 2009 between the Government and Chinese engineering firm Sinohydro to carry out preliminary studies for the construction of a 201 MW hydroelectric dam at the site. The CFA 365 billion (£500 million) works also include a 225 kV power line linking the facility to Yaounde via Ebolowa.
Nachtigal on the Sanaga River (330 MW)
The hydropower station at Nachtigal is linked to the expansion of Alucam’s aluminum factory at Edea. Alucam is a joint venture between Alcan and the Government of Cameroon. In order to double its production, the company requires a 330MW power plant in the River Sanaga as well as evacuation lines to transport the electricity to a substation near the factory. The project would also make the aluminum production line more energy efficient. However, construction of the dam 40 miles north of Yaounde depends on progress at Lom Pangar, another megaproject.
Located in the Adamawa Province, feasibility studies for the Bini a Warak hydropower project are now complete. This project is intended as a complement to the national power grid, but it also has sub-regional importance because it would increase the capacity of the Central African Power Pool. In the medium term, policymakers in Cameroon foresee exports of electricity to Ngaoundere on the border with Chad. Cost estimates for the dam are about CFA 85 billion (£114.2 million), with the US a major source of funding.
Song-Mbenge in the Sanaga River Basin (900 MW)
Located almost halfway between Douala and Yaounde, the site of Song-Mbenge is a complementary piece to other hydropower projects in the Sanaga River Basin. Policymakers see it as central for a planned Alucam factory at Kribi that would produce one million tonnes of aluminium per year by 2018. Thus, it would work in synch with other facilities such as Kikot, Grand Eweng and Deido to meet a growing industrial demand that would keep the country’s GDP growth at an average of 5 per cent through 2020.
CAMEROON PROJECT TEAM: Fernando de Delas, Mina Catherine Lakrafi
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