June 13, 2024
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RENEWABLE ENERGY

Cameroon Launches First Turbine of Nachtigal 60 MW Hydroelectric Scheme

Several members of Cameroon’s government attended the commissioning of the first turbine of the Nachtigal hydroelectric scheme in the center of the country on Friday, May 10, 2024. This initial unit according to Africa news Portal, has a capacity of 60 MW.

After five years of work, the Nachtigal hydroelectric scheme has begun supplying electricity to Cameroon’s national grid. The commissioning ceremony for the plant’s first turbine occurred on Friday, May 10, 2024, with several government officials present, including Water and Energy Minister Gaston Eloundou Essomba and Finance Minister Louis-Paul Motaze.

The first unit delivers 60 MW to the Réseau Interconnecté Sud (RIS), serving the Centre, South, Littoral, West, North-West, and South-West regions. Minister Gaston Eloundou Essomba stated that the Nachtigal dam “reinforces Cameroon’s electricity production capacity to meet the needs of industry and households.”

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While there are concerns about potential grid saturation, Cameroonian authorities aim to mitigate these by exporting some of the electricity to neighboring countries. As part of the Cameroon-Chad Power Grid Interconnection Project (PIRECT), Yaoundé plans to sell 100 MW of electricity to Chad by 2027.

Following the initial 60 MW, “the other six units of the Nachtigal hydroelectric power plant will be progressively commissioned,” aiming for a total capacity of 420 MW by December 2024, according to the Ministry of Water and Energy. This will increase Cameroon’s electricity generation capacity by 30%.

The facility is operated by the special-purpose company Nachtigal Hydro Power Company (NHPC), owned by Électricité de France (EDF, 40%), the International Finance Corporation (IFC, 20%), the State of Cameroon (15%), the Africa50 investment platform (15%), and the French asset manager STOA Infra & Energy. These shareholders have invested 1.2 billion euros in the Nachtigal hydroelectric scheme, which includes a 1.455 km dam on the Sanaga River and a 3.3 km feeder canal, located 70 km from the capital, Yaoundé.

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