10 January 2013

Cameroon: Energy Supply in Kribi Gas-Fired Power Plant Begins in March

At least 99 per cent of work at the Kribi Gas-fired Power Plant (KPDC) has been executed, making it ready for energy supply. The plant which was supposed to have started functioning by initial start date by end of February, 2013 was delayed. The National Hydrocarbons Corporation, SNH, announces gas supply for the plant at the end of February 2013. However, a new date of operation has been set. Following a recent Presidential instruction, SNH will supply the required natural gas by February 28 for effective energy supply by the plant beginning last week of March, 2013.

This information was disclosed during an official visit to project site in Kribi, South Region, by the Energy and Water Resources Minister Dr. Basile Atangana Kouna yesterday January 10. The visit was in line with this instruction and efforts to meet the energy needs of consumers which is said to be rapidly increasing and to prevent energy rationing as we enter more severe periods of the dry season when water level is already dropping in the Sanaga drainage basin.

After a guided tour of the plant, the Minister said with certainty that the Kribi Gas-fired Power Plant is complete and will start functioning on March 1 this year. SNH has been given a deadline of February 28 to supply natural gas to the plant. According to KPDC Technical Director, Jeremie Bitanga, the company will from March 1 to 7 be filling, testing and adjusting its machines. Between March 7 to the beginning of the last week of March, the machines will be permanently on to confirm their effectiveness to transmit energy; after which it will begin steady supply of energy to supplement current energy supply by AES-Sonel. Speaking on the importance of the plant, the General Manager of KPDC, Hans Francis Simb Nag, said it offers additional capacity (216 megawatts) to the current supply 1015 megawatts supply by AES in Cameroon. It will help curb blackouts and energy rationing as a result of insufficient power supply, by adding more than 20 per cent energy to the existing energy capacity by AES.

All the generation and transmission facilities have been constructed. The 13 generating units have been installed to offer a total capacity of 216 megawatts of energy. This provision is significant and supplemental to the existing 1,015 megawatts generation capacity by AES-Sonel and Dibamba Power Development Company. So far, six of the 13 generating units had been tested with gas oil (diesel) and confirmed yesterday, January 10, to use natural gas. The new 225 KV transmission line (100 km) between Kribi and Edea, the new transformer substation in Kribi and the extension of the Mangombe (Edea) network system control substation have been completed and commissioned since September 2012.

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