Cameroon: Nachtigal Hydroelectricity Project - Works Progress On Unreversed Gear

The dam and power plant will generate 420 megawatt of electricity and address the country's energy need by 30 per cent after its expected commissioning by 2023.

Construction works to build the country's biggest hydroelectricity dam are well on course, Cameroon Tribune has observed. On a recent field visit to the project site in the locality of Ndokoa in Batchenga subdivision in the Lekie Division, the site was as busy as a beehive. At the site, the air was filled with sounds of bulldozers, front head loaders, graders, compactors and other heavy-duty construction machineries. On hand are over 300 workers, a mix of engineers, technicians and general labourers, carrying out grading and surfacing of the area to host the power plant and a temporal lodging facility. Its mid-day and all workers have vacated the site for an hour break. They assemble at a makeshift canteen, just close to the highway linking Batchenga and Mbanjock. Some catch a nap while others are busy replenishing lost calories after the morning shift of work. Valarie Medje, one of the essential staff of CCN construction, told Cameroon Tribune the construction site has been divided into 11 zones, of which five are active. He cited specifically the temporary lodging facility, workshop and quarry. Valarie disclosed that on a daily basis, they work so hard in the execution of the project as they have no time to waste. "We shall soon be completing the clearing and surfacing in order to move on with the project," he said. According to Augusto Soares dos Reis, General Manager of the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), the progress of work will continue to take an unreversed gear until its completion and commissioning by 2023. The General Manager confirmed to Cameroon Tribune that financing for the project, circa FCFA 800 billion, is on hand and as such no worry over funds. Augustos noted that the Nachtigal HEP project will be unique, like any other HEP project, because of its site. He said upon completion, it will become Cameroon's largest HEP dam and will inject 420 MW of electricity into the national grid. The Nachtigal HEP dam will be constructed on the River Sanaga at the Nachtigal waterfall. The project comprises the construction of roller compacted concrete dams, a headrace channel, a power plant with seven generating units, a generation substation and a 50.3km transmission line from Batchenga to Nyom II in Yaounde. The dam is being constructed and will be managed by NHPC. The company's shares are owned by: Electricité de France (EDF), 40 per cent; International Finance Corporation (IFC), 20 per cent; Government of Cameroon, 15 per cent; African Development Bank's 50, 15 per cent; and STOA Infra & Energy, 10 per cent.

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