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Cameroon plans to build USD 3 billion hydropower plant to export electricity

Devdiscourse News Desk | Yaounde | Updated: 21-09-2020 09:37 IST | Created: 21-09-2020 09:37 IST
Cameroon plans to build USD 3 billion hydropower plant to export electricity
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To make the central African nation an exporter of electricity by 2035, the government of Cameroon has planned to build a USD 3 billion hydropower plant as part of an ambitious plan, according to a news report by Cameroon Online.org.

The 810-megawatt Grand Eweng project on the Sanaga River, a joint venture between the government and the U.S.-based energy company Hydromine Inc., is the fifth hydro-project on the river.

The new installation will start generating power by 2028 and capacity will increase to over 1 gigawatt several years after that, according to Lucas Briger, vice president of development and operations at the New York-based project developer.

"The Grand Eweng was initially intended to supply the aluminum sector, "Briger said in an interview. Rising demand in the nation of 25 million people has since positioned the project to supply the general public.

Cameroon, which currently has about 1.5 gigawatts of installed power, could see demand grow to 3 gigawatts by 2035, according to its Energy Ministry.

President Paul Biya's government has pledged to generate 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035, with a plan to export power to neighbors such as Chad, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria. Small hydro- and solar-power sources accounted for just 4.5 percent of Cameroon's installed capacity in 2019.

The Grand Eweng dam would follow the 420-megawatt Nachtigal project, which also harnesses the Sanaga River, and to which the Bank provided USD 784.5 million of financing in 2018.


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