27 February 2018

Cameroon: Mekin Hydroelectricity Dam - Infrastructure Set

The provisional reception will take place on April 1, all things being equal.

The African Development Bank predicted in its 2018 Africa Economic outlook that additional hydroelectricity development projects in Cameroon will fasttrack industrialization and with it, the country's socioeconomic growth.

Evidence on the ground already shows materialization of the forecast as government is on the road to begin full scale usage of the freshly completed 15MW-hydroelectrical power dam constructed in the Dja and Lobo Division in the South Region by the Mekin Hydroelectric Development Corporation.

Cameroon Tribune visited the four main installations of the project (dubbed "Mekin") on Friday February 23 and found out it was effectively completed- the power plant, earth dam, the stepup power plant in the town of Mekin and the step-down power plant in Ndjom Yekomo.

The Chinese-built dam currently contains enough water to supply electricity, though the Technical Director of the project says the peak period for maximum production of electricity is in October. In the power plant in Mekin, a group of engineers man a control room which requires a 24/7 monitoring.

The head of the unit, Giscard Kuete says that from the computer monitors, they are able to examine, detect and recommend repairs of possible damages that may occur on the production cite as well as on electricity transportation lines and power stations. Operations in the area inhabited by Cameroonian and Chinese workers are carried out with energy from the plant.

Kuete explained that the turbines supply 63 kilovolts of power to the plant in Mekin which steps it up to 110 kilovolts, then transports it via high tension cables to the step-down sub-station in Ndjom Yekomo.

The engineers in Ndjom Yekomo for their part, ensure the constant reduction of the 110 kilovolts voltage they receive into 30 kilovolts ready to be sent into ENEO cables for onward distribution to users. They however note that citizens cannot immediately begin to enjoy the fruits of the project due to technical difficulties on the part of ENEO.

They said they carried out tests which proved that the distribution company's equipment needed repairs and upgrade to distribute the energy to target Sub Divisions like Meyomessi, Bengbis, Djoum, Mintom, Oveng and surrounding villages of Endom, Somalomo, Mvangan, Nkolmetet among others.

The Technical Director of the construction corporation, Charles Nkwawir Shiynteng says Mekin Hydroelectric Development Corporation has reached an understanding with ENEO which will facilitate provisional reception of the project on April 1, after one last test scheduled to take place in March. The Mekin dam which has a maximum production capacity of about 5,080 hours per year is one of many ongoing HEP projects in the country.

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