Work on Cameroon’s 420MW Nachtigal dam is set to go ahead in December after a $1.4bn financing agreement was concluded in Paris at the end of last week.
The deal was signed by the country’s finance minister, Louis Paul Motazé, with 15 international lenders including the World Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale, Attijariwafa Bank. Elisabeth Huybens, the World Bank’s operations manager for Cameroon, said: “The Nachtigal project, one of the very few public-private partnership agreements in hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa, will help Cameroon speed up target achievements, including poverty reduction.”
The project, which is expected to increase the country’s installed capacity by 30%, was won by Belgian contractor Besix, which will work in partnership with France’s Nouvelles Générations d’Entrepreneurs, a contractor specialising in power projects, and Société Générale des Travaux du Maroc.
The project client is the Nachtigal Hydro Power Company, established in 2016, a consortium made up of French utility EDF, the State of Cameroon and the World Bank. The project is scheduled to last 57 months, and will be situated on the Sanga River.
Besix will design and build a 2-km-long, 14-m-high dam in roller-compacted concrete, as well as digging a 3-km supply canal and carrying out the installation of the electrical generating equipment, consisting of seven 60MW turbines and water intake facilities.