FCFA 65bn need to extend Cameroon's Kribi gas-fired plant

Electricity18 September 2014, Yaounde – Information from Eneo, the new firm that has officially taken over electricity generation, transmission and distribution from AES Sonel in Cameroon, indicates that 100 million Euros (about FCFA 65.595 billion) is needed to extend by 114 MW the plant from its current 216 MW to over 330 MW.

Eneo sources say Globeleq, a leading independent power generation company in sub-Saharan Africa that has taken over the management of Dibamba and Kribi Power Development Companies and the government are in agreement on the path forward for the completion of the extension of the Kribi Project.

“It is a 100 million euro project that will be financed by 75:25 debt to equity ratio. The construction contract is already agreed with Wartsila and to expedite the construction, KPDC and Globeleq are discussing with local banks that will provide a bridge loan for the full amount of the project so that the company can have the plant entering in operation in early 2016,” Eneo information notes. The bridge loan from local banks, it adds, should be in place before end of next month, October.

“The long-term financing will then be mobilised with international lenders led by International Finance Corporation (IFC) a subsidiary of the World Bank Group. The plan is to have this long-term financing in place by the first quarter of 2015,” the informant further notes.

On the vision of Globeleq for the two plants, our source indicates that “short-term actions and focus will be on immediate performance enhancements, completion of the development and construction of Kribi expansion by 114 MW. Medium-term will be the expansion of the Dibamba project by 200 MW on gas.”

Meanwhile, the long-term actions will consists in looking for further opportunities of investment within the electricity sector and keep the world-class standard of the plants in terms of operation and maintenance.

As social responsibility, Globeleq is said to be paying particular attention to the local communities in places where the plants are located and intends to carry out projects that will enhance the standard of living of the population.

“For example, Globeleq entities will fund the construction of the extension of the electricity network to electrify villages. They will also construct deep wells and modernize health centres,” Eneo states.

But there will be need to also invest in transport infrastructure so that the additional energy produced would effectively get to households and industries. This, as problems of ageing electricity poles and incessant damages of transformers have worsened matters with unannounced electricity cuts and related ills commonplace.

– Cameroon Tribune

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